Otoplasty applications, popularly known as prominent ear surgery, attract the attention of many people suffering from this problem. How is the operation performed? What are the risks? Who can it be done? When and at what age is prominent ear surgery performed? Aesthetic Plastic and Reconstructive surgery specialist Tayfun Türkaslan answers questions such as.
Otoplasty is a procedure for changing the shape, position or size of the ears. If you are uncomfortable with how much your ears stick out of your head, you can choose to have an otoplasty. You may also consider otoplasty if your ears or ears are misshapen due to an injury or birth defect. Otoplasty can be performed at any age, after the ears have reached their full size (usually after 5 years of age), through adulthood. In some cases, surgery is performed as early as 3 years of age. If a child is born with prominent ears and some other ear shape problems, splinting is started soon after birth can successfully correct these problems.
You can consider otoplasty when:
- If you have a prominent ear image
- If your ears are too big for the head
- You are not satisfied with a previous ear surgery
- Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry.
Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size - usually after 5 years of age. Otoplasty does not change the location of your ears or change your hearing ability.
Otoplasty carries a variety of risks, including:
- Scar. While the scars are permanent, they are likely to be hidden behind your ears or in the folds of your ears.
- Asymmetry in ear placement. This can occur as a result of changes in the healing process. Also, surgery may not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
- Changes in skin sensation. Repositioning your ears during otoplasty may temporarily affect the skin sensation in the area. Rarely, the changes are permanent.
- Problems with stitches. Sutures used to fix the new shape of the ear can go up to the surface of the skin and may need to be removed. This can cause the affected skin to become inflamed. As a result, you may need additional surgery.
- Overcorrection. Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that cause the ears to appear fixed back.
- Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical band or other materials used during or after the procedure.
In the beginning, you will talk about otoplasty with a plastic surgeon. During your first visit, your plastic surgeon will likely discuss these processes:
- Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions, especially ear infections. Talk about medications you have recently taken or have taken and any surgery you have had.
- Do a physical exam. To determine your treatment options, the doctor will examine your ears, including placement, size, shape, and symmetry. The doctor may also take pictures of your ears for your medical records.
- Discuss your expectations. Explain why you want otoplasty and what you expect in terms of post-procedure appearance. Make sure you understand the risks such as possible overcorrection.
- If you are a good candidate for otoplasty, your doctor may recommend that you take some steps to prepare in advance.
Food and medicines
You will likely need to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements that can increase bleeding. Smoking reduces blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will advise you to stop smoking before surgery and during recovery. Also, be sure to make plans for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you on the first night of your recovery.
What Can You Expect Before The Procedure?
Otoplasty can be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. Sometimes the procedure is done with sedation and local anesthesia that numb only part of your body. In other cases, it may be given before your general anesthesia procedure that makes you unconscious.
During the procedure
Otoplasty techniques vary according to what kind of correction is required. The specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.
Your doctor can make cuts:
Behind your ears
In the inner folds of your ears
After making the incisions, your doctor can remove excess cartilage and skin. It will then fold the cartilage into the appropriate position and secure it with internal stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions. The procedure typically takes about two hours.
After the procedure
After otoplasty, your ears will be covered with bandages for protection and support. You will likely feel some discomfort and itching. Take pain medication as directed by your doctor. If you take painkillers and your discomfort increases, contact your doctor immediately. (Hibya)