What is otoplasty ?
Ear Surgery or otoplasty refers to plastic surgery procedures performed to correct protruding, over-sized, or deformed ears. The reconstructive surgery can fix aesthetic issues or birth defects, as well as deformities due to injury and differences in ear shape and size. The surgery changes the appearance of the external ear in both children and adults. After the ears have grown to 85- to 90-percent of their adult size, usually around age five or six, the procedure can be done to reconstruct the ears’ shape, size, and position.
What is the procedure process for Otoplasty?
The exact details of the procedure depend on the individual’s particular problem. For protruding ears, the surgeon will make small incisions behind the ears to trim, remove, and reshape the cartilage. The ears are then secured with sutures so that they’re closer to the head. Other deformities or shape issues can be fixed by removing skin and cartilage through incisions in the front of the ear. In both cases, scars are barely visible. Children’s surgery is performed with a general anesthetic. The surgery typically takes about two to three hours.
At the end of the procedure a soft protective bandage is applied and this remains in place for 2 to 5 days. We generally then ask patients to wear a light elastic headband at night for an additional three weeks to minimize the risk of inadvertently putting traction on the ear.
Who is a candidate for Otoplasty?
Any healthy child or adult with large, protruding, or misshapen ears, that are nearly full-sized, is a good candidate. However, the plastic surgeon will want to ensure that the patient has reasonable expectations concerning the procedure’s outcome. When performed at a young age the cartilage is more malleable and the results are usually better.
What are the benefits of this Procedure?
Otoplasty can reshape and reposition the ears so that they’re in proportion to the rest of the face. This can bolster confidence and negate the psychological effects associated with teasing and bullying.
Cost of Otoplasty?
The cost varies depending upon the location, surgeon, degree of reconstruction needed, and more. Since ostoplasty is often deemed reconstructive surgery, as opposed to cosmetic surgery, some insurance providers cover the procedure.
How do I choose the best Otoplasty surgeon for my upcoming ear correction surgery?
Only the most reputable and accomplished surgeon should be trusted for your procedure surgery, or ear correction procedure. Not only are experience and skill a must, the best Otoplasty surgeon will have extensive training in procedures of the face, head, and neck; and be Board-Certified in Facial Cosmetic Surgery. Communication between doctor and patient is key. To ensure you achieve the best results, choose a surgeon that will take time to comprehensively explain the benefits and limitations of an Otoplasty procedure, helping you to develop realistic goals for your specific ear correction surgery.
The preeminent Otoplasty surgeon in both Minnesota and the U.S., Dr. Peter Hilger is an accomplished physician, teacher, and researcher with more than 30 years experience in facial cosmetic and plastic surgery. Board-Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery, and recently honored with a Castle-Connolly Award as America’s Top Doctor, Dr. Hilger is among the most elite otoplasty surgeons in the country and one of the few fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeons in the Twin Cities.
What are the results of Otoplasty like?
Otoplasty can transform ears so that they’re in proportion to the face. Because surgeons can accurately estimate the eventual size of a child’s ears, future growth won’t interfere with the procedure. With precise techniques the results appear natural and are typically permanent.
What are the risks associated with Otoplasty?
There are risks inherent with any surgery, however they’re minimal with Otoplasty. The surgeon works on the external ear only and hearing is not affected. If post-surgical instructions are followed, the chances of complications or noticeable scarring decrease greatly. Risks include abnormal scar tissue, which can be corrected, hematoma, and the recurrence of protrusion.
What is involved in Otoplasty recovery?
After surgery the patient is usually given medication to control the pain, as well as a head dressing that’s worn for several days. Bruising, swelling and mild pain may occur but diminish quickly. If traditional sutures are used, they’re removed approximately one week later. A headband is sometimes worn for several weeks. Many people return to work or school after 7 to 10 days.
For (otoplasty) ear surgery post-op instructions click here.