Otoplasty: Ear Restructuring Procedure for Children and Adults

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that enhances and improves the shape of the outer ear. There are many different methods of Otoplasty depending the age and desired result the patients wants to achieve.It is not uncommon to find some people say they don’t like the way their ear looks. When the ears are too prominent, it can cause psychological distress and embarrassment. Children, in particular, are bullied or teased for their prominent ears, leading to emotional problems and lose of self-esteem and confidence. Otoplasty, a cosmetic surgery is a reliable solution that many parents have found help for their children. Otoplasty can improve the shape, size and position of the ear.

About Otoplasty: Ear Restructuring Surgery

Otoplasty is a surgery that reshapes the pinna or outer ear. The purpose is either to correct a deformity from birth or to enhance the appearance of the ear. Surgeons use Otoplastic technique to reconstruct, correct or replace a defective ear or a missing pinna. There is a suitable age for Otoplasty.

To get the best result, Otoplasty is done on ears that have reached their full size. It is,therefore, suitable for children from ages five years and above including adults who wants improvements on their ear structure. The surgery can remodel the cartilage to bring up missing
folds, positioning the ear closer to the head. To optimize symmetry, the operation is usually
carried out on both ears o enhance balance.



Types Of Otoplasty: Ear Restructuring Surgery

Some of the major complaints that an otoplasty can be used to correct are:

  • Otoplexy– This procedure is used for ear pinbacks, to flatten protruding ears.
  • Ear Augmentation– Ear augmentation procedure is required if the pinna is underdeveloped or is non-existent.
  • Ear Reduction – The procedure can reduce the pinna to a smaller size. Individuals with too large ears, a condition known as macrotia, go for this.

Adults not satisfied with their ear shape or previously done surgery can go for Otoplasty for improvement.

Who can Undergo the Otoplasty Surgery ?

To be eligible for Otoplasty, it must be children that are;:

  • Healthy and have no life-threatening illness or chronic infections
  • Be five years or older or when the ear cartilage is fully developed and able to withstand correction surgery
  • Children who can air their feelings on what is required.

Some of the conditions apply to adults as well. Also, such adults should not be smokers. Parents should allow their children to decide what they want in the surgery because it is purely a personalized procedure.

Otoplasty Surgery Risk Involved ?

  • Stitching problems – Stitches that secure the shape of the new ears may appear on the surface of the skin and have to be remove. Inflammation may result from this causing you to need additional surgery.
  • Scarring– Scars are usually permanent but is hidden behind the ears.
  • Over-Correction – Otoplasty can lead to unnatural contours which make ears look pinned back
  • Asymmetry in Ear Placement – This situation is likely to appear during the healing period.
  • Infection – This is rare, but infections of the cartilage and the skin may occur
  • Bleeding- Blood clotting or hematoma can be seen under the ear. It can result in severe Otoplasty pain and inflammation



Procedure Of Otoplasty Surgery ?

Otoplastic techniques are used to set the ears closer to the head and can involve shaping, molding, and removal of cartilage to pull the ears back to reduce the protrusion. The procedure won’t cause any hearing problem because it affects only the pinna, the outer ear. The pinna has nothing to do with hearing unlike the inner and middle ears.
To start, the surgeon will make an incision behind the ear where the ear links to the head. He then removes a sufficient amount of skin and cartilage as needed to come up with the desired result. The cartilage can then be trimmed, reshaped and pinned back with permanent sutures to secure it. In some cases, cartilage will not be removed, but stitches are used to reshape the cartilage permanently.

Otoplasty Surgery Of Recovery ?

Patients will require bandage over their ears for many days after the surgery. The bandage may prevent taking a shower or washing the hair. At night after the removal of the dressing, a supportive but loose headband is worn to give cover to the ear. This takes away tension from the ears. The ears should not be pulled forward by the headband. After a week of surgery, The candidate can get back to work or school. Normal activities including exercise can begin within two weeks after the surgery.

Children should be prevented from activities that can cause injuries or trauma to the ears during the period of recovery. Physical contact sports such as football and rugby should be avoided for an upward of three months.
It is likely you feel Otoplasty pain after the process. Itching can also occur. Pain medications will do to relief you. If it persists, make sure to see the doctor. Don’t sleep on your side; this will give more pressure to the ears. A few days after the procedure, you should be fine, and bandages are removed by the doctor. You may experience swollen or have red ears. Your doctor will let you know when stitches are to be removed. Some naturally dissolve on their own.

Otoplasty Surgery Of Cost ?

According to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average price of ear surgery is $2,909 in 2019. This is just part of the total cost. Other fees are not included. The cost of Otoplasty can vary depending on some factors. The surgeon fees are calculated based on his years of experience, and the type of procedure used also adds to the cost. The geographical office location is another factor to consider.

A breakdown of Otoplasty cost includes:

  • Surgical facility or hospital cost
  • Surgeon fee
  • Medical test
  • Anesthesia fee
  • Medication prescription
  • Clothing after surgery cost

Many Health insurances do not usually cover cosmetic or elective surgery. However, some process may be included such as procedures to restore hearing and alleviate medical symptoms.

Otoplasty can be carried out in an outpatient setting or in the hospital. Also make sure to have someone around to drive you home after the surgery. If you smoke, it is advised you stop smoking before embarking on the surgery and later during the recovery period. Smoking can
slow down the healing process because it reduces blood flow in the skin.

The results of the otoplasty are permanent and you can see the change immediately after surgery. The final result however will take a few days.

It is important to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions as you may be advised to wear a headband at night for the first week after surgery.



Frequently Asked Questions About Otoplasty Or Ear Reshaping Surgery

Who needs Otoplasty?

Otoplasty can be used to correct the following:
  • Protruding ears
  • Damaged or elongated ear lobes
  • Cupped or loped ears
  • Ears that don’t look the same.

Is there an age limit for the procedure?

Otoplasty can be performed on a wide range of patients. Typically anyone above the age of 4 is a candidate for Otoplasty.

What Method Does We Use When Performs Otoplasty?

The Otoplasty Treatment is done under local anesthesia and sedation.

How long is the surgical time for it?

It is usually completed in 120 minutes or less. Most patients are able to return to work within a week after otoplasty surgery.

Should I expect a post operative scar?

Conveniently hidden behind the ear. The shallow scar will also fade with time but our surgeon’s technique places it in an unnoticeable area.

Will Otoplasty hurt ?

The surgery is performed under local anesthetic and sedation and is not a painful procedure

What is the Recovery Process Post otoplasty?

A week after the treatment, adults and children can return to school or work. More strenuous activity and exercise can be resumed after 2 weeks.

Will insurance cover the cost of otoplasty?

Otoplasty surgery is not covered by insurance. Otoplasty procedure costs are based on various aspects including the anticipated length of time surgery will take, the form of reshaping, and type of anaesthesia required. Ordinarily, an otoplasty conducted with a light sedation will cost somewhat less than an otoplasty requiring general anaesthesia.

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