Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that can improve the shape, position, or proportion of one or both ears. It is also known as ear pinning. An ear structural defect that is present at birth or that develops over time can be fixed through otoplasty. This treatment can also be used to address injured ears that have developed improperly. Otoplasty restores balance and proportion of the ears and face by creating a more natural shape. Even seemingly insignificant flaws can have a significant positive impact on one's looks and self-esteem.
Otoplasty is one of the most common procedures for children over the age of five. Both children and adults can potentially benefit from surgery to reposition their ears. Otoplasty will not alter hearing ability.
Before the Procedure
The surgeon will take your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
Before the procedure, your surgeon may ask you to:
- Stop smoking before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
- Avoid medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
- Maintain good skin care. Warm water should be used to rinse the skin on and around your ears, and sunscreen should be applied.
- Otoplasty is usually a daycare procedure. Arrange for someone to drive you home safely after surgery. You should also prepare for the recovery period by taking time off work and ensuring you have everything you'll need nearby while recovering.
During the Procedure
- General anesthesia is commonly used during ear surgery, and various monitors will be used to check your heart, pulse, blood pressure, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood during the surgery for your safety.
- Otoplasty brings the ears close to the head by molding, shaping, and/or removing cartilage to draw the ears in and reduce the protrusion. This procedure has no effect on your hearing because it only involves the outer ear and not the middle ear or inner ear, where hearing occurs.
- The surgeon makes an incisional cut behind the ear, near the point where the ear connects to the head. The surgeon removes as much cartilage and skin as required to achieve the desired result.
- The surgeon may trim the cartilage, reshape and then pin it back with permanent sutures to secure the cartilage.
- In some cases, the surgeon will not remove any cartilage at all and will instead use stitches to reshape the cartilage permanently. Incisions and the resulting scars are concealed on the back of the ear.
After the Procedure
- Patients are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery and are able to go home the same day. Your head will be wrapped immediately in a bulky bandage after surgery to promote the best molding and healing.
- Your ears may throb or ache a little for a few days, but medication can relieve pain. Within a week, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a lighter headband dressing. Follow your surgeon's instructions when applying this dressing, especially at night. Sutures usually will dissolve in about two weeks.
- Any activity that may cause the ear to bend should be avoided for a month. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery.
For many individuals with prominent or deformed ears, otoplasty can greatly improve their self-esteem and confidence. It can help to reduce the embarrassment and insecurity that can come with having ears that are disproportionate or asymmetrical.
Otoplasty can improve the appearance of the ears, creating a more balanced and proportionate facial structure.
Otoplasty can correct abnormalities in the ear structure, such as a congenital deformity, injury or previous surgery, and birth defects.
In some cases, a deformity or structural abnormality can impact hearing. Otoplasty can correct these issues, which can lead to an improvement in hearing.
Otoplasty provides permanent results so that patients can enjoy the benefits of the surgery for life.
The recovery time for otoplasty is relatively fast, and most patients can return to normal activities within a week.
The incisions made during otoplasty are typically hidden behind the ear, resulting in minimal scarring.
Otoplasty can improve the comfort level of individuals with protruding ears, making it easier to wear hats and headphones.
Some individuals with prominent or deformed ears may avoid certain social situations or activities due to their appearance.
Otoplasty can open up more opportunities for them to participate in activities and events they may have previously avoided.
Safe and effective
Otoplasty is a safe and effective surgical procedure that has been performed for many years, with a high success rate and low risk of complications.
Possible ear surgery risks include:
- Allergies to tape, suture materials, injected agents, glues, or topical preparations
- Risks associated with anesthesia
- Possibility of revisional surgery
- Skin contour irregularities
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Change in skin sensation
- Pain, which may persist
- Poor wound healing
- Skin discoloration/swelling
- Unfavorable scarring
Care at Medicover
At Medicover Hospitals, we have an eminent team of plastic surgeons providing care to the patients by procedures such as otoplasty. Our plastic surgeons at Medicover are committed to combining your goals and realistic expectations with expertise for a safe and positive outcome. We provide a wide variety of procedures using the most advanced technologies and top-notch equipment, bringing out successful outcomes.