Being noticed for your looks can be nice, but sometimes we are self-conscious about certain parts of our body. For many, the ears can be a source of insecurity by seemingly overly large, uneven, or positioned too far from the head. We are proud to offer otoplasty to patients who are unsatisfied with the size or position of their ears.
What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty refers to cosmetic ear surgery which is performed to improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ear. It is performed on the visible portion of the outer ear, known as the auricle. The auricle is composed of cartilage folds which begins developing in the womb and continues throughout early childhood.
There are several types of otoplasty which include:
- Ear Augmentations – This type of otoplasty seeks to correct ears that may be underdeveloped and is designed for those who wish to increase the size of their ears.
- Ear Pinning – Involves drawing the ears closer to the head and is a type of otoplasty performed on those whose ears stick out prominently from the sides of their head.
- Ear Reduction – This procedure is beneficial for those who feel that their ears are larger than normal.
As mentioned above, the goal of otoplasty is to improve the balance and symmetry of facial features by correcting any imbalance with the ears. This correction makes the ears more attractive, proportionate, and symmetrical which restores patient confidence.
Who is a good candidate?
Otoplasty can be a great option for those who wish to correct a structural abnormality or because they feel insecure about their ear proportion or position.
Good candidates for otoplasty include those who are:
- Age 5 or older as this is often the point when the auricle reaches 90% of its adult size.
- In good overall health as having an underlying condition can increase the risks of complication and rate of healing
Otoplasty can be used for adults, young adults, and even children. In the case of children, they must be healthy and have cartilage stable enough for the procedure. They must also be able to follow instructions well and communicate their feelings accurately during the consultation.
Our staff will work with you to personalize your procedure. During your consultation, we will discuss your medical history, expectations, and conduct a thorough physical examination.
This procedure is often performed under either local or general anesthesia for patient comfort.
Though the specific surgical technique that is used will depend on the type of otoplasty you’re having, every otoplasty follows the same general outline.
An incision is made on the back of your ear or inside the folds of the ear. Through this incision, the surgeon can manipulate the tissue of the ear, including cartilage and skin, to the appropriate shape and position. The incision is then closed using stitches. Some may be dissolved during recovery while others may need to be removed.
Like all surgical procedures, otoplasty does have some associated risks including:
- A bad reaction to the anesthesia
- Ears that are not symmetrical or have unnatural-looking contours even after surgery
- Changes in sensation on the ears
- Suture extrusions
Following your procedure, a dressing will be placed over your ear to protect it during the healing process. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and keep your dressing clean and dry. This dressing may be removed after the first week of healing. However, your doctor may instruct you to wear an elastic headband for a month as your ear heals. Your doctor will inform you of how and when to wear the headband and when you can return to various activities.
Avoid touching or scratching at your ears. This includes clothing that may irritate your ears as you pull it over your head. Be mindful of your sleeping position so that you do not put pressure on your ears.
Some common post-surgery side effects may occur during recovery including:
- Ears that feel tender, sore, or itchy
- Numbness or tingling
Otoplasty is a highly customized procedure and we are here to help you! For more information on otoplasty, contact East Lake Cosmetic Surgery today.