Otoplasty is the Surgery of Ear Deformity (Protrusion, Large Ears, ?). It is best planned before the socialisation process and after major ear growth (around 5 years old). This permits less social trauma, softer ears to sculpt, and full (or almost full) ear growth before treatment. Most otoplasty surgery is done between the ages of 4 and 14. A consultation before this age can be a valuable learning experience for the parents and the child old enough to be asking questions.
Adults can easily have this surgery, but most tell me they wished they had the corrections at an earlier age to avoid the teasing.
What Happens During The Procedure:
The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient surgical center, operated by your surgeon, and takes 60 to 90 minutes per ear.
Adult otoplasty patients typically receive local anaesthesia plus a sedative.
Usually, children are put under general anaesthesia. Depending on the child's feelings about surgery, local anaesthesia with sedation can be used.
Incisions are made just behind the ear, in the natural fold where the ear meets the side of the head. The surgeon then removes the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin and permanent stitches are placed in order to pin the ear back into a normal position.
In some cases, the surgeon will trim the cartilage, shaping it into a more desirable form, while in others, he will not remove any cartilage at all, using stitches to hold the cartilage permanently in place. These permanent stitches are made of nylon, polypropylene, or another non-absorbable material.
After correcting one ear, the patient is turned and the procedure is repeated on the other ear. Because the incisions are well concealed on the back of the ear, the resulting scars are not normally visible.
What to expect post-procedure?
Going into surgery, patients should realise that most people's ears are not perfectly symmetrical to begin with. Although the results are usually permanent, there is always some small amount of "springing back" of the ears due to the elastic recoil of the ear cartilage.
How soon does normal life resume?
Elastic bandage over both ears is kept for 10 days. After that period, stitches are removed and head shower can be taken.