Ears that have an unusual shape, are asymmetrical, or are visibly protruding from the sides of the head can cause low self-esteem. This is seen especially in children who sometimes have to endure bullying because of the appearance of their ears. For adults, the memories of being bullied when young might still give them traumatic thoughts.
The good news for them: otoplasty or ear reshaping surgery can shape their ears and bring them into symmetry, restoring their self-confidence.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Ear Reshaping Surgery?
- 2 Types of Otoplasty
- 3 Are you a Good Candidate For Ear Surgery?
- 4 Pre-op Instructions
- 5 Otoplasty Surgery
- 6 Post-op Instructions
- 7 Risks And Complication Of Otoplasty
- 8 When Will You See Results After Otoplasty?
- 9 What is the cost of otoplasty surgery?
- 10 Can otoplasty surgery reduce ear size?
- 11 Do ears go back after otoplasty surgery?
- 12 What is the best age to undergo otoplasty surgery?
- 13 Does otoplasty hurt?
- 14 How long is otoplasty recovery?
- 15 Get Consultation
What Is Ear Reshaping Surgery?
Otoplasty (Ear reshaping surgery) is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is performed to alter the position, shape, or size of the ears.
You can opt to undergo otoplasty if your ears are misshapen due to a birth defect or injury. You can also have this treatment if you are bothered by the appearance of the ears too prominently sticking out from the sides of your head.
Otoplasty can be performed after the age of five, which is when ears have reached their full size. This surgery can also help correct the misshapen appearance of the ears in adults.
A person can consider ear reshaping surgery for the following reasons:
- Ears that are large in proportion to the head (macrotia)
- Prominent ears that stick out too far from the head
- Dissatisfaction with the results of previous ear surgery.
Types of Otoplasty
There are three primary types of otoplasty, and they include:
- Ear augmentation. This procedure is performed on small or underdeveloped ears. Its primary goal is generally to increase the size of the ear.
- Ear pinning. This otoplasty technique is done on people whose ears prominently stick out from the sides of their heads. It involves bringing the ears closer to the head.
- Ear reduction. This is performed to reduce the size of ears when they are larger than normal.
Are you a Good Candidate For Ear Surgery?
A child can be the ideal candidate for ear surgery if they:
- Is above five years, or the car cartilage is stable enough for correction
- Is healthy
- Can remain calm and cooperative during the treatment
- Can communicate their feelings
The ideal teenage and adult candidates for ear surgery;
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Have specific goals and a positive outlook about the surgery
Before your ear reshaping surgery, your plastic surgeon will give you pre-operative instructions that you need to follow to ensure the surgery is successful. These include:
- Avoid certain medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, herbal supplements, and vitamin E, for two weeks before the procedure.
- Do not smoke for two weeks before and after the procedure.
- Before the surgery, purchase a soft headband and Vaseline ointment.
- The doctor will prescribe your post-op medication (painkillers and antibiotics) on the day of the surgery.
- Avoid drinking or eating from midnight before the surgery day.
- Arrange for someone to take you home and take care of you for the first 24 hours after the surgery
On the day of the surgery, wear loose-fitting clothing. Do not wear jewelry, eyeglasses, contact lenses, or makeup.
Ear reshaping surgery is an outpatient procedure. Depending on the complexity and specifics of the procedure, it can take between 1-3 hours.
Younger children typically receive general anesthesia, while teenagers and adults receive local anesthesia with a sedative.
The surgical technique used during the procedure will depend on the type of otoplasty you are undergoing. Generally, otoplasty involves the following:
- Creating an incision inside the folds of the ear or on the back of the ear
- Manipulating the ear tissue which can involve removing skin or cartilage, folding and shaping cartilage, or grafting cartilage to the ear
- Closing the incisions with sutures
After the procedure, a dressing is placed over the ears that should always be kept clean and dry.
After your ear reshaping surgery, your plastic surgeon will give you some post-operative instructions, which you must follow to ensure favorable results of the procedure.
- Always keep the head elevated, as this minimizes swelling. You can use an extra pillow or a recliner.
- The head dressing will be replaced a day after the surgery and finally removed five days after the procedure.
- You will be given an ointment to apply on the incision sites three times daily for about 2-3 days.
- After the dressing is removed, you may gently resume shampooing your hair, but be careful and avoid bending the ears.
- You can wear glasses, but they should not rest on the incisions.
- You can resume light walking three days after the surgery and strenuous activities about three weeks after the procedure.
- You may resume school or work a week after surgery, but a headband must be kept on the entire time.
- You can resume swimming 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
- Avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, or sun lamps for about 4-6 weeks after the procedure.
- Take only prescribed medication.
Risks And Complication Of Otoplasty
Like any other type of surgery, ear reshaping has some risks and complications, such as infection, bleeding, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. However, these risks are less likely to occur, given that a board-certified, skilled plastic surgeon performs the treatment.
Other risks associated with ear reshaping surgery include:
- Temporary changes in skin sensation
- Asymmetry in-ear placement
- Allergic reactions to materials used during or after the surgery
- Unnatural contours of the ears due to overcorrection
- Problems with stitches that may lead to inflammation
When Will You See Results After Otoplasty?
Each person has a different healing rate depending on the extent of the procedure and general health, but most people heal after a few weeks. The final results of ear reshaping surgery should be visible within two to three months after the procedure.
What is the cost of otoplasty surgery?
Other pricing factors involved in ear reshaping surgery include:
- The Plastic Surgeon’s expertise and qualifications
- The geographical location of the clinic and its reputation
- The otoplasty technique used
- Your expectations from the procedure
Can otoplasty surgery reduce ear size?
Otoplasty surgery can reshape, pin back, or reduce the size of the ears to make them more proportional to your face and overall symmetrical.
Do ears go back after otoplasty surgery?
The loosening of stitches can let the cartilage shift back a little toward the previous position. This shift is, however, too insignificant to cause a significant change in appearance. The treated ears rarely get back to their pre-surgery state.
What is the best age to undergo otoplasty surgery?
The best time to undergo otoplasty is when the cartilage of the patient’s ear has stabilized, usually after the age of five.
Does otoplasty hurt?
During the surgery, anesthesia is used to make the patient comfortable. However, you may experience some discomfort immediately after the procedure.
How long is otoplasty recovery?
It takes about six weeks to recover from otoplasty, with the final results showing in about 2-3 months.
Do you feel the need to have your ears adjusted? At Euromed Clinic Dubai, we have a team of Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons who are experts in Ear Reshaping Surgery. For more information, call us at +971 4 394 5422. You can also book a consultation by filling out the form below.