Plastic surgery for ears is also known as otoplasty. It is a surgical procedure that changes the size, shape, general appearance, and position of the ears to create a pleasing, symmetrical look. It is usually performed on individuals who have oversized, deformed, or uneven ears due to genetics, birth defect, or an injury.
Who Needs Plastic Surgery for Ears?
The most probable candidates for otoplasty are those who:
- have oversized ears in relation to the head
- have ears that appear prominent or stick outward
- have a deformity or physical damage to the ear or both ears
- need corrective surgery after a previous otoplasty
Who Performs the Otoplasty?
Only a trained and qualified surgeon who specializes or has experience in otoplasty should perform the procedure.
Where is the Procedure Performed?
Depending on your surgeon, otoplasty may be performed as an outpatient procedure in a surgical facility or as an in-patient procedure in a hospital.
Will Anesthesia Be Used?
Some cases may require only local anesthesia with sedation while other cases may have to use general anesthesia.
Are There Foods and Activities to Avoid Prior to Otoplasty?
Your doctor (we recommend this ear surgery Michigan option) will likely advise you on how to prepare for the procedure. He/She may recommend that you avoid certain types of food and medications that increase bleeding. These may include aspirin, warfarin, anti-inflammatory drugs, Vit. E, Vit. C, and herbal supplements, among others.
If you smoke, you may also be asked to refrain from smoking before and after surgery. Smoking is known to affect the healing process and will slow down your body’s ability to repair itself.
Will Plastic Surgery for Ears Affect Hearing?
No. Otoplasty surgery will only alter the exterior part of the ear or ears but will not affect your ability to hear.
Are There Risks Involved?
Like all surgical procedures, there are certain risks associated with plastic surgery for ears. These include:
- Scars. There will, of course, be scars but they are not likely going to be prominent. In most procedures, the scars will be behind the ears and thus hidden from view.
- Infection. Since the procedure will produce wounds, the ears could become infected if not cared for correctly. After the procedure, make sure the ears are kept clean and dry to prevent an infection.
- Asymmetry. Asymmetry usually happens when one ear does not heal as well as the other, resulting in an uneven look. If the surgery failed, the ears may not appear even or the same shape and/or size.
- Slight Numb Sensation. Ear repositioning could lead to a numbing or tingling sensation in the affected site. This is usually temporary and will be resolved once the patient has completely healed.
- Overcorrection. Overcorrection can make the ears appear too close to the head after surgery.
At What Age Can Otoplasty Be Performed?
In general, plastic surgery for ears can be performed after the ears have reached full growth. This is usually when the patient is 5 years old or older. If necessary, the surgery may be performed on patients as young as 3 years old. Younger patients, especially those who have problems with oversized or misshapen ears, usually do well with splinting, provided the procedure is performed immediately after the child is born.