Ear surgery – otoplasty
Protruding or large ears can create lots of problems to a person, especially a child. Large or deformed ears are often inherited and are not only a physical defect but often a cause of permanent stress and psychological problems. Otoplasty is aimed at correcting this feature. It helps raise a person’s self-esteem and may change attitude of others, making social adaptation easier.
Using the latest medical and surgical advances RomiTal surgeons have achieved remarkable results in otoplasty. If you want to help your child before the school or would like to change your own appearance, you will receive professional assistance and care at our medical center.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty (from Greek “othos” – ear) is a general term for plastic surgery on ears. Otoplasty is a surgical correction of protruding, large or deformed ears. It can set the ears back closer to the head, reduce them, change their shape or proportion, and make them more symmetrical. Various otoplasty methods are known since 1840s; modern methods of cosmetic otoplasty have been formed about 50 years ago and are constantly improved.
When is it better to perform otoplasty?
The surgery is usually recommended at the age of 5-6 years, after the ears have reached full size, and before a child goes to school. This can help prevent the child from teasing and ridicule that is unfortunately commonly associated with larger ears. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient. Often adults choose to have otoplasty together with other
Before the surgery
Before the surgery your child or you should undergo a thorough examination, have blood and urine tests made, fluorography of thorax organs, electrocardiogram. The surgeon will evaluate your face and ears to create an individual surgery plan.
The person undergoing the surgery must be in a good health (no chill or other diseases in this period). For adult patients: if you smoke, you should stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the surgery and abstain from smoking for at least 2-3 weeks after it. Otherwise there is a risk of wound healing disturbance because smoking significantly reduces blood supply to skin vessels.
If your child or you take any drugs you need to discuss this with the doctor during preliminary consultation. You should also discuss with your surgeon your expectations from the surgery. Both parents and the surgeon must be very careful and sensitive to the feelings of children.
Otoplasty on young children can be performed under a general anesthesia, on older children and adults under a local anesthesia combined with a sedative. Usually the procedure takes place in an outpatient setting. An otoplasty takes from one to three hours, though complicated procedures may take longer.
Surgical techniques may vary depending on anatomical reasons of ear deformity and the surgeon’s decision. Most commonly the surgeon makes a small incision in the back of the ear, in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head, to expose the ear cartilage. The surgeon then removes the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin required to achieve the right effect, shapes the remained into a desirable form, and stitches the incisions to secure the cartilage in the necessary position. Soft dressings are applied to the ears at the end of the surgery and should be worn for a few days.
Since incisions are made in the natural fold in the back of the ear, they are not visible from the outside. The scars fade with the time leaving virtually no visible trace. The main outcome of the surgery is that the ears will harmonize with the face and overall appearance.
What can be expected after the surgery?
If a patient feels good, it is possible to leave the clinic a few hours after the surgery. Sometimes it is necessary to wear special fixative dressing 24 hours a day during one week and elastic dressing for a night during one month.
The ears may throb or ache a little for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication.
Bulky bandages are replaced by a lighter head dressing in a few days, and stitches are removed in a week.
Adults may return to work in about five days and children can go to school in a week or so. However it is important that kids are very careful about running, jumping and other playground activities, especially in a group.
Sleeping can be somewhat of a problem for many people, especially those who are accustomed to sleeping on a side of the body because no pressure can be put on the ears. You may be recommended to sleep in a sitting or half sitting position and only on your back.
The ears may seem not to be absolutely symmetrical, but you should not worry about this, as natural symmetry doesn’t exist. Everybody has asymmetric features of the face and body and this is exactly what natural beauty is about.
When recovery is complete you will be satisfied with the results, especially if your expectations have been realistic so the minor discomfort is worth toleration.
If you have more questions about otoplasty, fell free to contact us.