What is otoplasty?
Sometimes, it is not enough to have smooth and clear skin, whiter teeth, full cheeks, or plumped up lips to look good. In Miami, we have found that there are many patients who are even having issues regarding the shape, proportion, and position of their ears. In these cases, Dr. Alan Serure recommends ear surgery or otoplasty to improve the physical appearance of the patient’s ears. In addition to being able to enhance the shape and position of the ear, an otoplasty procedure is also used to correct structural defects of ear that may have been present at birth or brought about by an injury.
What are the benefits of otoplasty?
With otoplasty, patients get natural looking ears that provide a perfect balance to their facial features, enhancing their overall appearance. Correcting any sort of deformity in this area will also greatly improve the patient’s self-esteem, as misshapen ears are often the cause of an awkward and embarrassing phase in a person’s life, both in childhood and adulthood. Otoplasty is recommended for patients who have usually large ears, protuberant or disfigured ears, or as a corrective procedure for adults who have had previous ear surgery but are not satisfied with the results.
Who can receive otoplasty?
Otoplasty may be recommended for children, five years old and above, who already have suitably developed ear cartilages that can withstand the surgical correction. The children must also be verified to be in optimal health, with no underlying illnesses or persistent and untreated ear infections. The recommended minimum age for otoplasty is five years old because, ideally, these children will be able to follow the instructions of the doctor properly and be cooperative during the procedure. They will be able to communicate how they feel about the surgery and are, therefore, expected to allow the surgeons to perform the surgery without throwing tantrums or voicing complaints and objections.
For older patients, the primary requirement is that they have a clean bill of health with no life-threatening conditions or other conditions that can interfere with the healing process. They should ideally be non-smokers and have realistic goals for the procedure.
What happens during otoplasty?
- Before starting surgery, doctors may give the patient general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation to keep them comfortable during the procedure.
- Incisions will be made at the back of the ear to give doctors access to the underlying structures and allow them to sculpt the cartilage so that they can adjust the measurements of the anti-helical fold, or the C-shaped ridge just inside the edge of the ear, and the conchal bowl, or the large concave part of the outer ear. Adjusting the size of these areas will effectively reduce the size of the ears and reduce their protrusion. If an incision is made at the front part of the ear, it will be made along the natural creases and folds to conceal them.
- Internal sutures will be used to secure the reshaped cartilage and hold it in place to maintain the ear’s new form.
- External sutures will be used to gently close the incisions. Doctors must be careful not to pull on any of the other structure so the ear does not look pinned too far back at the sides of the head.
What happens after ear surgery?
The patient will normally feel some discomfort, redness, swelling, and bruising after the surgery and this can be managed with pain medication. Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure and patients will be able to go home immediately after their appointment, however, their bandages must not be removed for several days to ensure that the correction heals properly. After the swelling and bruising disappears, the newly shaped ears will appear to be of a more suitable size and closer to the head than they were prior to the surgery. Scarring will be very minimal because the incisions have been positioned so that they are well hidden along the natural creases and folds of the ear.