|Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Because of the teasing that they often receive in school, children with prominent ears are the most common candidates for ear pinning, or otoplasty; however, many adults desire to have the size or prominence of their ears altered as well. Even mild distortion of the ears can lead to teasing and self-consciousness, which is why this procedure is often performed before starting school.
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that is used to improve the appearance of large or protruding ears. Otoplasty can resize the ears, making them smaller and setting them back closer to the head. The procedure can improve both appearance and self-confidence. Otoplasty is most commonly performed on children and teens, but it cannot be performed on children under the age of five because their ears are still growing. Older patients can benefit from otoplasty as well.
Surgery begins with an incision just behind the ear, in the natural skin crease. A small amount of skin and cartilage is often removed and then the cartilage is reshaped using sutures.
After otoplasty, the ears will be bandaged in soft dressings for a few days, after which a headband will be recommended at night for up to two weeks after surgery. Discomfort is typically mild; Dr. Pryor can prescribe medication to help alleviate any discomfort. The final scar is hidden from view in the natural ear crease. If you are interested in finding out more about facial implants, or if you or your child would benefit from ear pinning (otoplasty), contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Probably no other physical characteristic cries out for facial plastic surgery more than protruding ears. Children, long the victims of cruel nicknames like "Dumbo" or "Mickey Mouse," are the most likely candidates for otoplasty, but this surgery can be performed at any age after the ears have reached full size, usually around five to six years of age. Even if the ears are only mildly distorted, the condition can lead to self-consciousness and poor adaptation to school. When it comes to otoplasty, conventional wisdom is the earlier the better.
Adults may also benefit from this procedure, which improves self-esteem with relative ease. Often, adults choose this surgery in conjunction with other facial plastic surgical procedures. Not only is it possible to "pin back" ears, but ears can also be reshaped, reduced in size, or made more symmetrical.
If you are wondering how otoplasty can improve the way you look, you need to know how otoplasty is performed and what you can expect from this procedure. This pamphlet can address many of your concerns.
Successful facial plastic surgery is a result of good rapport between patient and surgeon. Trust, based on realistic expectations and exacting medical expertise, develops in the consulting stages before surgery. Your surgeon can answer specific questions about your specific needs.
Is Otoplasty For You?
When considering otoplasty, parents must be confident that they have their child's best interests at heart. A positive attitude toward the surgery is an important factor in all facial plastic surgery, but it is especially critical when the patient is a child or adolescent.
Adult candidates for otoplasty should understand that the firmer cartilage of fully developed ears does not provide the same molding capacity as in children. A consultation with a facial plastic surgeon can help parents decide what is best for their child, not only aesthetically, but also psychologically and physically. Timing is always an important consideration. Having the procedure at a young age is highly desirable in two respects: the cartilage is extremely pliable, thereby permitting greater ease of shaping; and secondly, the child will experience psychological benefits from the cosmetic improvement.
Making The Decision For Otoplasty
After the surgeon and patient decide that otoplasty is indicated, your surgeon will discuss the procedure. Following a thorough medical history, your surgeon will explain the kind of anesthesia required, surgical facility, and costs. Typically, your surgeon will suggest a general anesthesia for young patients and a local anesthetic combined with a mild sedative for older children and adults. Under normal conditions, otoplasty requires approximately two hours.
What To Expect After The Surgery
The risks are minimal. There will be a thin white scar behind the ear after healing. Because this scar is in a natural crease behind the ear, the problem of visibility is inconsequential. Anything unusual should be reported to the surgeon immediately.
Facial plastic surgery makes it possible to correct many facial flaws that can often undermine one's self-confidence. By changing how you look, cosmetic surgery can help change how you feel about yourself.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve birth defects or traumatic injuries may be reimbursable in whole or in part. It is the patient's responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.