Many individuals feel self-conscious because of their poorly shaped ears. This can be especially true for children with asymmetric ears, which are sometimes subject to teasing and social embarrassment.
Many people choose to correct asymmetrical ears through surgery. Ear reshaping is known as otoplasty. This is a surgical procedure that can bring a better balance to the ears. The goal of the procedure is to enhance the overall appearance of the face by making the ears more even. It is the 10th most common cosmetic surgery in the United States.
Ear reshaping is a common procedure that can be administered on children as young as six years old. When children reach six, their ears have nearly reached adult size. There are many parents who have the procedure carried out on their children early in life, which avoids teasing at school. In addition, ear reshaping can also be administered on older children, teens, and adults who want their ears to be more symmetrical.
How is the Procedure Performed?
A plastic surgeon will use a specific technique to reshape and reposition the ears. The incisions will be made behind the ear to conceal any scars, which are typically very minimal. The ear cartilage will be repositioned as well as rotated to create more natural ear folds. A plastic surgeon may use sutures to set the ears closer to the head, and cartilage may also be removed to create better ear symmetry. A plastic surgeon will discuss the techniques that he or she will use to create your desired look during your consultation.
The procedure can be carried out at a surgical facility or a hospital, and patients will usually go home the same day. The procedure will last between two to three hours, and if sutures were placed, they will dissolve on their own.
The type of anesthesia that is administered will depend on the patient, and most patients will have to wear a head dressing for about two to three days. Children who have the procedure can return to school in about one week. However, they should wait about two weeks before participating in physical activity, such as gym class. Adults typically return to work in about five days. Light cardiovascular activity can resume in one week, and strenuous activity can resume in two to three weeks.
Can Otoplasty be Administered With Other Procedures?
The procedure is typically carried out on its own when it is performed on children and teenagers. However, adult patients can choose to combine ear reshaping surgery with other aesthetic procedures to further enhance the contour and appearance of the face. This may include Botox or other injectable fillers, a brow lift, a facelift, and more. In addition, some patients choose to have body reshaping done in conjunction with ear reshaping surgery, such as liposuction or fat transfers. If you want to have ear reshaping surgery done with other cosmetic procedures, your plastic surgeon can recommend the best combination of procedures to help you achieve your desired results.
How to Prepare for Ear Reshaping Surgery
You should stop smoking and stop taking certain medications that can cause excessive bleeding. Your plastic surgeon will let you know what to expect before and after the procedure and will answer any questions you have about otoplasty.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used During an Otoplasty?
For an otoplasty, anesthesia can range from light sedation to general anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist can determine which type of anesthesia is best suited for your needs.
Recovery From an Otoplasty
Although pain is usually minimal, after the procedure you may experience aching and swelling, which can be managed with an over-the-counter pain medication or prescription medication. In addition, swelling and numbness can also occur but should reside in a few days.
Are There Risks to Having an Otoplasty?
It is important to note that any surgical procedure comes with risk. While the risk is minimal with ear reshaping surgery, some risks may include blot clots, infection, and scarring. In addition, some patients may also have a reaction to the anesthesia that was used. However, if a skilled plastic surgeon carries out the procedure, it will minimize its associated risks.
Who are Ideal Candidates for an Otoplasty?
The procedure can be administered on anyone who is in good health. Adults should be non-smokers and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. It is important for children to follow instructions before the surgery and during recovery. In addition, children should also be comfortable with the plastic surgeon that carries out the otoplasty.
What Should You Expect at Your Otoplasty Consultation?
At your consultation, your plastic surgeon will ask about your medical history, which includes allergies to medications, previous or existing medical conditions, and what medications you are currently taking. In addition, your plastic surgeon will ask about your expectations to ensure they are realistic. Your ears and overall facial aesthetics will be examined as well.
If you are an adult looking for an ear reshaping specialist in New York, or if you are a parent who is interested in having it administered on your child, it is important to contact a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS is one of the top plastic surgeons serving those in the New York area. He specializes in a wide range of cosmetic procedures that include otoplasty. Visit Dr. Jacono’s website at http://www.newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com for consultation.