When a person’s ears are not in proportion with the rest of the face, they stand out. Save your child or yourself from teasing and embarrassment with ear reshaping surgery, also known as otoplasty.
Ear malformations come about as a result of genetics or injury. If your ears are larger or smaller than you would like, if they stick out abnormally, or if they’re unusually shaped, otoplasty may be right for you. Otoplasty is ideal for conditions such as Stahl’s Ear (also known as Spock Ear), ears that are larger than normal (macrotia) or smaller than normal (microtia), and oversized earlobes.
The ideal age to undergo otoplasty is around 5 years old, because cartilage gets stiffer and less flexible as you age. This also puts a stop to teasing earlier in life. Still, the procedure is frequently performed on adults as well.
The otoplasty procedure begins with either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. It typically takes around two hours, possibly more or less depending on the desired amount of tissue alteration. Two otoplasty methods are available: cartilage scoring and cartilage sparing.
During cartilage scoring, incisions are made behind the ears. Sometimes, Dr Berhane might create incisions in the front, which can be well-hidden in the contours. Excess skin tissue and cartilage are then trimmed away. Internal stitches are used to sculpt and recontour the internal tissue. These serve to help keep the newly changed tissues in place. The remaining skin is draped over the area, and medical sutures are used to close the incisions.
During cartilage sparing, sutures are used to reshape the area, with no cartilage or skin trimming involved. With ears that stick out to an abnormal degree, this technique is known as ear pinning.
After surgery, bandages will be wrapped around the recontoured ear(s). Called fluff bandages, these are more padded than normal bandages. In around three days, they’ll be unwrapped and taken away. Lighter bandages may be used to replace them, and these may be worn for an additional four days. During this time, attempting to look at your new ears is strongly discouraged for the sake of preventing infection.
In order to get optimal results from otoplasty surgery, do your best to not aggravate the tissues in the area during the healing process. A good way to keep the area safe is by sticking to loose shirts and button-down shirts. Heat can also damage the area, so blow dryers and heavy sun exposure should be avoided.
While sleeping, you’ll need to wear ear protection, typically a headband, for up to six weeks in order to keep the tissues safe. Keep your head elevated with pillows, and avoid sleeping on your side.
In two days to a week, you should be able to return to work and your normal schedule, making certain not to do anything strenuous. If your child is getting the otoplasty, they should be ready to come back to school around a week after the procedure.
Be aware that a degree of bruising and swelling is normal following the procedure. Because of this, the recontoured ears will not have their final shape until swelling subsides. However, the positive changes will still be quite evident before this.
Typically, your full recovery should take six weeks at the most. Once healing is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful new tailored look ears. Call Dr. Berhane office for consult and examination today. Contact us today for a consultation.