Otoplasty Surgery

What is Otoplasty Surgery?

Ear reshaping surgery or otoplasty is a cosmetic surgery for ears. It is done to alter the size, shape, or position of the ears. Once the ears attain their full size, generally after the age of five years, otoplasty can be performed. If one is born with abnormally large ears or other ear defects in the shape or size by birth or due to some injury, they can opt for otoplasty surgery.

Otoplasty Surgery: Why is it Done?

Otoplasty surgery tends to physical ear deformity, you can consider the procedure in the following cases:

Irregularly large or small ears, by birth
Disproportionality in the size of the head and the ears
Improper or odd placement of ears
Prominent sticking out of the ears
Physical deformity in the ear caused due to an injury
If you feel conscious of how your ears look

Every person’s reason for option otoplasty may differ from physical appearance to associated self-confidence that they may want to achieve through the procedure.

Types of Otoplasty Surgery

There may different procedures that may be required to be done, depending on the issue sought to be addressed and the desired results:

If your ears stick out prominently, then an ear pinning surgery can be performed. This involves flattening the ear against the head.
If there is an irregularity in the placement of the two ears, then for creating a proper symmetry ear repositioning can be done.
If you have large ears, then they may be incised and resized accordingly.

Otoplasty Surgery: Preparation and Procedure

For an otoplasty surgery when you visit a plastic surgeon, the surgeon will review your medical history to take account of your health conditions to ensure a successful procedure and to assess any risks that may arise. The surgeon will also do a physical examination of the ears to assess and determine your procedure options and to look into the shape, size, placement of your ears. They take pictures for reference. It is necessary that you discuss your expectations with your doctor and also understand the plausible risks of the procedure.

Otoplasty can be done in a hospital or even in an outpatient facility. You may be given local anesthesia or be sedated before the procedure. In some cases, even general anesthesia can be administered. The above otoplasty techniques differ based on the correction needed to be done. The techniques chosen by your surgeon will also determine the placement of the incisions. Incisions might be made on either of these two places:

At the back of the ear
Within the inner creases or folds of ear

Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will remove the extra skin and cartilage, or reposition/reshape the two, as needed. Then the cartilage will be folded into the desired position and secured with stitches on the inner parts. Incisions will then be closed by stitching them together.

The Recovery Process

Once the otoplasty is done, the ears will be covered in bandages for the next few days or till the stitches are removed. The plastic surgeon will also inform you of some post-surgery precautions that you may need to observe and also prescribe you some medications. Apart from specific instructions, you may be required to do the following:

Contact the surgeon in case of any discomfort or excess pain
Avoid sleeping on your sides
Not touch or rub the ears and the area around them
Avoid any pressure or force on the ears
Try wearing clothes with loose necks to avoid any contact with the ears while wearing them, or simply wear button-down shirts

You may experience some kind of swelling and itching during recovery which will subside in a few days. Once your stitches are removed, you will feel a lot more comfortable. Consult your doctor on when and how you can resume activities like bathing and showering. Recovery will take not more than two to three weeks, though it may vary according to the technique and procedure. It is imperative to take proper post-surgery care and follow any instructions given by the surgeon.

Final Word!

Otoplasty surgery may be opted by anyone who feels that their ears have some physical deformity or if such deformity makes them less self-confident. The procedure corrects ear shape or size or position, as desired by the patient. The recovery does not take time and results can be seen fully in three weeks. The results from otoplasty generally last for a lifetime, except in cases where the shape or placement of the ear is impacted due to any accident or injury.