Is Otoplasty (“Ear Pinning Surgery”) right for me?
What Will Otoplasty Do For Me?
Prominent ears are caused by the failure of ear cartilage to fold, curl, and bend while in the womb. Frequently, the ear cartilage overdevelops and becomes more significant than desirable. These factors contribute to an ear that lacks shape/definition, resulting in overly prominent protruding ears.
Otoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that brings the ears closer to the skull shapes the ear. The cartilage can be trimmed as needed to reduce the overall size of the ears. Otoplasty will usually stop merciless teasing that occurs on the school grounds and allow the patient to wear hair up or down, long or short, without feeling- self-conscious. The operation restores harmony to the face by moving attention away from the prominent ears, and in so doing, enhances the natural attractiveness of the face.
Who are the best candidates?
The best candidates are healthy individuals who do not smoke. Age is not as crucial as overall health; however, this procedure is most effective when the patient is around seven or eight years old (when ear development is nearly complete, and the schoolyard teasing and torment has not psychologically damaged the child). The ideal candidate has prominent ears that affect the overall appearance and a caring, supportive family.
Risks associated with this procedure are few and uncommon. The complications include wound healing problems and occasional decrease or loss of sensation in the operated site. There are muscles behind the ear which must be altered during the procedure, so people who can vigorously move the ears before surgery, will not be able to do so afterward. Most of these complications are minor and temporary.
Preparation for surgery
After your evaluation in the office, you may be required to avoid certain medications for about two weeks before surgery. It is important to let Dr. Kasden know all the medications you are taking, including over the counter medications and herbal medications or supplements. If you smoke, I recommend that you stop before surgery.
Where will it be performed?
The procedure is usually performed in the office under local anesthesia with oral sedation; however, it can also be performed at an outpatient surgery center or hospital on an outpatient basis.
Type of Anesthesia
This procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia with oral sedatives. Patients are very comfortable and often nap throughout the procedure.
After anesthesia, an incision is made between the back of the ear and the skull. Excess skin is removed, and the ear cartilage is shaped, trimmed, and in some cases, reduced as needed. The operation, for the most part, is performed from behind the ear. After the shaping is completed, sutures are placed in the cartilage to maintain the shape and position of the ears. The wound is meticulously closed and hidden in the crease between the ear and skull
How Will I Feel Afterward?
Post-operatively, the ears are uncomfortable, not painful. Appropriate medications will be given to help with the discomfort. Most people feel groggy for a couple of hours after surgery, but after a day or so, report feeling great.
Back to Normal?
You can expect to have pain/discomfort for about a week or so, with some tenderness for several more weeks. There is significant swelling of the ears, which generally resolves after a week. You will need to wear a headband for a week after surgery 24/7, and then another two weeks while sleeping to protect the delicate work. Contact sports are prohibited for about two months.
Results to Expect
After surgery, you should expect to see the ridges and curves seen in typical ears. The ears will be closer to the head and have a natural appearance. As a result, it is a more attractive appearance. For children, teasing is usually no longer an issue, and patients of all ages report improved confidence and self-image.