Otoplasty, more commonly referred to as ear surgery, is used to correct major or minor issues with the appearance or function of the ears.
Ear issues may be present at birth or may be caused as the result of an injury. Surgery may be a simple procedure or may be more complex, such as when the entire ear must be reformed after an injury.
What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty refers to both surgical and non-surgical methods that are designed to alter the appearance of the ears. A good cosmetic surgeon will correct the issue to bring balance not only to the ears, but to the entire face as a whole. Even if only one ear is affected, it might be necessary to have surgery done on both ears to keep them symmetrical.
Why Is an Otoplasty Done?
Ear surgery is performed to correct the way that the ears look. One common complaint is that the ears protrude out too far from the head. In this case, the individual may wish to have the ears pinned back for a more natural appearance. Another reason why an individual may opt for otoplasty is for ears that are too big in proportion to the head. This can occur in a condition called macrotia. The surgeon will work to reduce the size of the ears for a better balance. Surgery may also be performed because the ears are not symmetrical in size, shape, or position. In adults, otoplasty might be selected to correct a previous surgical procedure. Ear surgery can be completed on children, teenagers, and adults. It is just important to wait until the ears are fully grown and the cartilage is stable. This typically occurs by the time a child is five years of age.
What Happens During an Otoplasty?
Your surgeon will decide if local anesthesia or general anesthesia would be the best choice for your specific situation. Incisions are typically made behind the ear whenever possible, though they may be made inside the natural folds of the ear to disguise any scarring that might occur. Excess skin and tissue, including cartilage, may be removed. If the cartilage needs to be reshaped, your surgeon may use non-removable sutures to keep the ear in the proper position. Stitches will be used to close any incisions that were made during the surgical process.
What to Expect Following Your Surgery
Your ears may be red and swollen for some time following your otoplasty. This will go away over time. For certain issues, your results may be apparent immediately after you are allowed to remove the bandages. For other corrections, you may need to wait for the swelling to subside. While a good percentage of the swelling should be gone after about six weeks, it can take up to a full year for all of the swelling to be gone and for you to notice what your final results will look like. However, you should have a good idea of your results within just a few weeks.