Ear reshaping surgery, medically known as otoplasty, is performed on patients who have protruding ears, misshapen ears, or oversized ears. These things can cause considerable embarrassment, and may even result in a child being mercilessly teased by their peers. Ear reshaping surgery is a simple procedure that can make a dramatic difference by bringing the ears into a better position, correcting ear size, or correcting ear shape.
Who is a Good Candidate for Ear Reshaping Surgery?
Otoplasty is most often performed on children, with the patient age typically being anywhere from 4 to 14. Ideally, young patients will have otoplasty before they begin school, generally at age 4 to 5. This type of surgery can also be performed on adults, and Dr. Rau can perform corrections for previous ear reshaping surgery on adults who need it. Generally, people who are good candidates for this surgery want to have the correction done for personal reasons. Children may feel self conscious about their ears, or they may be teased due to their ear protrusion or oversized ears. Adults may have always disliked their protruding ears and want to have them surgically corrected for appearance reasons. Patients must be healthy overall to have this surgery. Most people who want to have ear reshaping surgery are eligible to do so.
The Benefits of Ear Reshaping
Ear reshaping can greatly enhance a patient's self confidence. Most ear reshaping patients are far more satisfied with their appearance after this procedure. Ear reshaping is a safe surgery that has a very high success rate. The results are permanent.
Ear Reshaping Techniques
During ear reshaping surgery, an incision is created behind each ear. If the ear needs to be altered in size or shape, extra skin and cartilage are then removed and the ear is surgically reshaped. The ears are then firmly sutured to the skin, which prevents them from protruding in the future. The sutures are hidden by the ear, and scarring is concealed by the natural ear fold.
Preparing for Ear Reshaping
Patients will be provided with a list of specific preparations for ear reshaping. Patients may need to have pre-surgery blood testing and certain medications may need to be temporarily discontinued.
The Ear Reshaping Procedure
Ear reshaping is usually done while the patient is under a combination of local anesthesia and a sedative or under general anesthesia depending on the patient's tolerance and complexity of the procedure. This allows the patient to be pain free during the procedure. Most patients are drowsy during the ear reshaping procedure, and may doze lightly. The ear reshaping surgery takes around 2 hours in total. Once the surgery is complete, a compression bandage is placed around the head.
Recovery From Ear Reshaping Surgery
Patients can return home the same day of the surgery. This compression bandage is worn home, and is replaced with a lighter bandage after 24 to 36 hours. Parents should closely monitor children to be sure that they don't grab, rub, or otherwise touch their ears during the healing process. Recovery can be different for each person depending on the complexity of the surgery. Most people can go back to school or work after 1 to 2 weeks. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for around 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Results: What to Expect After Ear Reshaping Surgery
Most patients have a follow-up appointment about a week after surgery. At this time, there will be obvious improvements in the position and/or shape of the ears. It usually takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the swelling to completely subside and optimal results to be seen. This is a permanent procedure, and no maintenance is necessary to maintain results.
Want to Learn More About Ear Reshaping?
Rau Plastic Surgery is here to answer questions and to provide the surgical solution patients need. Call anytime to arrange a consultation appointment for ear reshaping surgery.