Otoplasty is an operation performed for purely aesthetic purposes; either for the correction of prominent ears or for earlobe deformities correction, while there are cases where, for harmony purposes, both corrections are required.
The causes of prominent ears
Prominent ears are a birth feature in 5% of people regardless of race. Depending on the size and degree of ear prominence from the head, as well as each subject’s psychology, it can be considered another facial feature or an aesthetic problem that requires correction by means of otoplasty.
One or both ears can be prominent ears due to the following factors:
- Greater than normal curvature or hypertrophy of the ear canal.
- Incomplete formation or absence of the ear antihelix.
- Combination of both.
Otoplasty is one of the few aesthetic surgeries aimed at both adults and children. It can be performed at any age with the limitation children-subjects be over 5 years of age and the physician confirm that cartilage development has been completed.
Therefore, ideal otoplasty candidates are:
- Adults who want to correct their ears for psychological and aesthetic reasons.
- Children over 5 years old, who both themselves and their parents want to correct their ears for psychological and aesthetic reasons.
- Adults who want to correct their ear lobes – the problem may have occurred due to injury from piercing, accident, etc. or the lobes have gained size over time.
In otoplasty, the surgeon can remove part of the excess cartilage if necessary and provide a higher antihelix curvature. Usually, special stitches are applied to achieve the desired ear shape and maintain it thereof. Then cartilage suturing is applied. The whole process takes about 1.5 hours.
Otoplasty is always performed under local anesthesia in case of an adult or a teenager. Children can opt for general anesthesia if they are stressed and have difficulty staying calm. The final decision shall be taken by the physician and the anesthesiologist, based on the subject comfort and safety during operation.
Otoplasty is an operation not requiring hospitalization, regardless of the anesthesia applied.
The subject, however, should to be very careful during the first few days, especially during sleep. It is recommended that the subject, in the first few days, sleeps on the back or in a semi-sitting position, using a second pillow and limit phone communication.
For the first week it is necessary to use elastic bandage to protect ears from injuries. Then, a ribbon is recommended for another 3 weeks.
Return to daily activities is possible 5 days later. It shall take about 10-15 days for any sutures to be absorbed or removed.
Results and Recovery
The otoplasty end result is immediate and permanent. However, it is expected that ears shall continue to change over time.
Otoplasty scars are from start hidden behind the ear and, due to its new position, they are hardly seen, following the natural folds of the ear. However, they are expected to fade out within 6 months.
Otoplasty cost depends mainly on the anesthesia applied and each individual case.