Otoplasty, a surgery that corrects ear deformities, is most often requested by parents who have children that are at risk of or are currently being bullied for having abnormal ears.
Adults can also be otoplasty patients though, with many looking to correct their ear deformities in order to increase their self-esteem and confidence.
6 Key otoplasty facts
Below are the 6 most important things that you should know about otoplasty:
Most cosmetic surgeons will recommend otoplasty to patients who have ears that stick out too far. This is generally due to improper development of the antihelical fold, which is what draws the tops of the ear to the side of the head.
Patients need to be at least 5 years old in order to be considered for this procedure. The reason for this is because the ear is generally at its full size by age 5 yet the ear cartilage is still malleable. Performing otoplasty at a young age will ensure that a child doesn’t have to be subjected to teasing, taunting and bullying during their school years later on.
It’s very common for a patient to only have one ear that bothers them so it’s not always necessary to perform otoplasty on both ears. However, if your doctor feels that the ears will have a lack of symmetry if you only correct the one ear, you may have to treat both ears anyway. Dr Zurek, an ear pinning specialist at Surgicentre, recommends performing otoplasty on both ears for the best results.
During an otoplasty procedure, a small incision is made in the back crease of the ear in order to remove excess cartilage and skin and to reposition the ear. Making the incision in this area hide any scars completely.
Even though the recovery time for this surgery isn’t as long as others, it can be quite uncomfortable because the surgery is performed on a delicate area of the body. The most pain will be felt the day after your surgery but this can be managed with pain medication. A compression bandage will also need to be worn after the surgery in order to protect your ears and keep them in place. This extra pressure can make your first night rather uncomfortable but once it’s removed, the discomfort will subside. There will also be some bruising and swelling for several weeks after your surgery. A soft headband will also need to be worn for several weeks, particularly at night.
While there are minimal complications that arise from this procedure, some patients can end up with telephone deformity, which is when the upper ear and earlobe become more prominent than the middle of the ear. If this occurs, corrective surgery may be required. Infections and keloids forming on the scar behind your ear are some of the other rare complications.