Do your ears hang low? Are they protruding, over-sized or do they appear to you as a little odd-looking?
Today, ear surgery can address cosmetic concerns regarding the appearance of the auricle or outer ear. Before you consider ear surgery, here are the key things doctors want you to know when it comes to getting your ‘ears done.’
Before your procedure, a number of physical assessments will be conducted on your body to ensure the best outcome. There will be a general assessment of the auricle to determine the degree to which your ear is prominent and any asymmetries or irregularities between the left and right sides. Be prepared to also discuss your general health and medical history, so that your doctor can determine your suitability to undergo otoplasty.
From there you will be able to schedule a time to undergo your otoplasty and get advised of any special preparations you will have to do on the day and night before.
An Otoplasty procedure, aka cosmetic ear surgery, typically involves making an incision at the back of the ear. From there the cartilage can be modified to address a range of cosmetic issues such as protrusion or size. There will be sutures used to close the wound and assist in the healing process.
People might undergo bilateral otoplasty which is performed on both ears, or unilateral otoplasty if only one ear required cosmetic attention. Otoplasty can be both cosmetic and reconstructive and as people’s ears reach 90% of their full size by age five, people of many ages undergo otoplasty.
Like any surgery, the area that has undergone treatment may swell or bruise. Your ears may experience these after-effects for up to seven days. Depending on how healing is going, sutures are generally removed in seven to ten days. Some patients will receive dissolvable stitches that do not need to be removed.
You will also need to wear a special headband that your surgeon will supply to you. People who have undergone otoplasty will wear it from one to two weeks after their procedure. After this time you continue to wear it only at night for another four to eight weeks. This ensures optimal healing and cosmetic outcomes, so it is important to follow these instructions.
Some otoplasty can be complex and require more than one operation to fully correct the shape of the ear. In this case, you might also need to wait for certain intervals between procedures so you can properly heal. While it can be hard to wait, the result will be worth it.
Incisions are tucked deep behind the ear which reduces the appearance of any visible scarring. For many people scars tend to fade to an almost imperceptible flat line on the skin.
Otoplasty to correct prominent ears is proven as an effective procedure with good long-term outcomes, especially when the incision-suture technique (described above) is used.