Ear surgery is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery which is used to alter the shape and size of the ears or bring them closer to the side of the head. This treatment improves the position, shape, and proportion of the ear. This surgery is safe and provides the best results if performed by an expert surgeon.
An ideal shape and size of the ear act as one of the most pre-eminent features of the face. The normal ear shape has a refined appearance and delicate shape with standard folds and creases. Some people are born with large or protruding ears that appear too large or stick out that may affect their appearance as well as the level of confidence. Many people also feel discomfort if their ears sit or protrude out far away from the head. Hence, people whose ears are not in perfect shape, size, or position can undergo otoplasty or corrective ear surgery at Aestiva Clinic to get an ideal ear shape. The otoplasty surgery is also known as ‘ear setback’ or ‘ear pinning,’ and this helps to make the protruding ear appear less prominent. The procedure involves making incisions at the back of the ear, correction of skin, cartilage protrusion, and closure of the incision. The stitches created at the back of the ear also reshape or position the ear closer to the head.
Small children with protruding ears are often subjected to unkind remarks because of their appearance, and it can cause significant distress in them, and they often feel dejected, isolated, and self-conscious about their looks. The same problem, if not corrected in early childhood, persists till the adulthood of an individual. Otoplasty surgery helps to fix this problem very well.
Otoplasty surgery comprises of a myriad of procedures designed to shape the existing ear or construct an ear lobe in case of congenital defects. The main aim of otoplasty surgery is to reconstruct the missing, damaged, and deformed external ear. The shape, structure, and size of the ears are determined by genes, and sometimes any defect can result in forming incomplete, deformed, irregularly shaped, or protruding ears. The shape of the ear is an inherited characteristic.
- The ideal candidates for ear surgery are men, women, and children who are physically healthy and have realistic expectations with this treatment and want to improve their appearance.
- The children by the age of five can get this surgery (in this age group, the ears are completely developed).
- Non-smokers and non-alcoholic.
- People who want to correct their protruding ears and want to improve their aesthetic facial appearance.
- People with untreated chronic ear infections are not ideal candidates for this treatment.
- People suffering from life-threatening illnesses are not ideal candidates for this treatment.
Types of Anesthesia used in the surgery: Local anesthesia or General anesthesia.
Ear surgery or Otoplasty can correct:
The condition of overly large protruding appearance of the ears.
People who have unsatisfactory results from previous ear surgery can go for second or revision otoplasty.
This is an outpatient procedure that generally takes about 1-2 hours. Anesthesia is administered to keep the patient comfortable during surgery. Firstly, the surgeon creates an incision on the backside of the ear i.e. where the ear joins the head, then correction of skin is done, and any excess cartilage that causes protruding ears is removed. This is a short duration procedure, and no admission is required. The incision is hidden behind the ear, and cartilage is also sculpted and sutured to create natural folds, decrease prominence, and give a more natural contour to the ear. Incisions on the front side of ears are created into its folds that hide them. A bandage may be needed around the head for supporting the ears to heal in the new position and protecting them from infection.
This surgery brings ears in proper shape and size that brings balanced and proportioned ears and face.
- The surgery is useful for correcting a birth defect of the ear structure.
- The surgery can correct congenital ear deformities.
- The surgery also corrects the condition called macrotia (overly large ears)
- This surgery treats Cryptotia, a genetic condition in which at the very top, the front portion of the ear appears undefined from the sides of the head.
- The surgery can also correct a condition of Stahl’s bar. In this condition, a vertical bump is present in the upper part of the ear.
- The surgery also improves the looks and self-confidence and brings out more facial balance and proportions to the ears and face.
The patient may feel discomfort just after the surgery, which is normal and can be controlled by medication. The patient may feel itchiness under the bandages, but bandages must remain intact until complete healing. Ear surgery gives instant results when bandages are removed after the initial stages of healing. Surgical scars can be hidden when ears are permanently positioned closer to the head. The patient is advised to take proper rest for at least one week after this surgery; however, they can return home just after the surgery. The patient may notice some redness, swelling, and bruising on their ears for a few weeks. A full recovery may take about 6 weeks, and results are permanent.
With otoplasty surgery, the prominent ears will look less protuberant, and they look much smaller. The surgery does not affect the hearing ability as the surgery alters the outer ear structure.
The earlobe can become torn due to injury, trauma, wearing heavy jewellery, or dilated because of ear gauges. The second most common procedure in-ear repair is the torn ear lobule correction. It is a simple procedure performed under local anesthesia, to carefully correct and restore the normal curve and fullness of the earlobe.
The patient is advised not to wear earrings for initial days after the treatment. Many people who want to pierce their ear again can go for this several weeks after the wound is completely healed after surgery. The earlobe surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, and there is little to no pain associated with this surgery. The surgery takes 30 minutes, and no bandages or dressings are required, and the sutures are removed after 7-10 days after the surgery.
When the surgeon removes the bandage, one can see that their ears are no longer protruding, and the necessary repairs are also done. The results of the surgery are permanent.
The main aim of otoplasty surgery is to improve the appearance of the large protruding ears. One can see a significant degree of difference after the treatment, but little subtle asymmetries may sometimes be observed after surgery, and to correct them, secondary revision surgery is required. The patient will experience swelling and discoloration after the surgery, and this usually resolves in 1-2 weeks. Infection and bleeding are the most common risks associated with this surgery, and the patient must take antibiotics and other medications as advised by the surgeon. This helps to minimize the risk of infection.
The patient must always consult a certified and experienced surgeon to get the best results. The patient must discuss their concerns with the surgeon. The surgeon also evaluates the particular patient for physical examination, general health, studies patient history, discusses the patient’s expectations, and recommends a course of action. The surgeon also discuss the risk, procedure, and benefits involved with the surgery.
- Have a healthy and good and balanced diet before the treatment.
- Stop smoking and alcohol consumption as smoking decreases the flow of blood and can slow the wound healing process. The patient must make sure that after the surgery, they must be accompanied by an attendant may be their friend or relative or someone to take them home, as the effect of anesthesia takes some time to go away.
- Do not consume blood-thinning medications for a few days before the treatment.
The outer ears are usually positioned in the side of the head at an angle of 20 to 35 degrees, and they appear to stick out if the angle is more than that of 35 degrees.
There are many factors that cause protruding ears:
- Genetic factors.
- Injury or trauma caused to the ear can cause prominent ears.
- Overproduction of the cartilage that leads to over development of cartilage in the pinna part of the earrings.
- Not folding of the ridge of cartilage (outer edge of the ear) present at the top of the ear and this occurs due to less production of collagen.
This involves a head dressing (soft head-wrap) which is wrapped to protect the ear for a few days; this helps to reduce swelling and ear pressure. The patient can return home on the same day after the surgery. Medications for pain are required for a few days, even after the sutures are removed. While sleeping, the patient is advised to wear a headband for a few weeks.
Note: Congenital absences of ears can be treated in a staged manner, which takes approximately a couple of years after the child is six years old.
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