With this cosmetic treatment, ear can be ‘pinned back’, reduced in size, reshaped and made more symmetrical. This operation has absolutely no effect upon the inner hearing mechanism and can treat all kinds of conditions, such as lop ears, cupped ears, shell ears and large, stretched earlobes. Therefore, if you have been self-conscious about the way your ears look, this procedure can be the solution for you.
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An ideal candidate for an otoplasty procedure should always be in good health and should possess a pair of ears that are in proportion to the size and shape of the head and face (the key to a successful plastic surgery). Also, he/she should be 5 years old or older and should not present a history of scarring problems (eg: keloids). Full ear growth must have been achieved before the surgery can be performed.
If you decide to submit your child to this surgery, you must always make sure that the child’s best interests are at heart, since providing a positive outlook towards the surgery is one of the most important factors when it comes to adolescents and children. Discussing the issue with your doctor is always favorable so that all the physical and psychological aspects are taken into consideration.
You must keep in mind that when an adult is submitted to an otoplasty (ear surgery), the cartilage of the ears is not as soft since the ears have already developed fully and the molding capacity lessens. Therefore, make sure you consult with your plastic surgeon first so that all the pros and cons are discussed thoroughly.
The time for the procedure is also key; having it performed at a young age is advantageous. In contrast with an adult, a child’s cartilage is very flexible and allows for greater reshaping. Also, when the treatment is performed in the early stages of the patient’s life, the psychological benefits increase tenfold.
By connecting you with one of the best teams of doctors in the industry, HCR is aware of the different types of needs our diverse patients may have. Therefore, we will provide the best service possible for you, not matter what you are looking for, and we will aid you in every possible way in your pursuit to enhance your appearance.
At HCR we strongly advise patients to have an initial consultation with their plastic surgeon before any procedure is performed. This way, both the patient and the doctor have an equal opportunity to contribute in the whole process and by doing so, the satisfaction of the client increases tenfold. During this initial discussion, you must not hesitate to talk about your expectation with your surgeon openly, since he/she will help you determine what is and what isn’t possible to achieve. One thing HCR always points out is the need for patients to be aware of all the different aspects of the surgery you are willing to undertake (the cost and recovery process); everything must be made extremely clear for you and we will always go out of our way to accomplish this.
When it is your child who will be undertaking the treatment, you must stay tuned to you his/her feelings at all times; the surgery will only be performed when they have agreed to it on their own account.
Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your condition (or your child’s) to determine which technique is the most favorable. Specific instructions will be giving to you once the procedure has been determined.
Make sure you have good communication with your surgeon at all times since this will help increase your level of satisfaction. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact HCR since we will be more than happy to help you with anything you need.
The type of anesthesia used for the surgery largely depends on the age of the patient. Doctors recommend general anesthesia for younger patients, allowing them to sleep all through the process; for older patients, local anesthesia can be utilized, depending on their preference.
The length of the surgery depends on the type of problem which is being treated, but it usually takes from 2 to 3 hours.
The most usual technique involves the making of a small incision in the back of the ear, following the natural fold where the ear meets the head. This exposes the cartilage which needs to be sculpted. Once it is reshaped and bend towards the head, stitches are used to close the incision and to aid in the preservation of the new shape. In some cases, a larger piece of cartilage can be removed, giving the ear a more natural-looking fold.
For other issues, a similar incision is made but skin is removed and stitches are utilized to fold the cartilage back on itself, thus, reshaping the ear without the need to remove any cartilage.
Once the incisions are closed, your doctor will wrap your head in a bulky bandage, which will help with the healing and molding.
Generally, an otoplasty procedure (ear surgery) leaves a faint scar at the back of the ear, which disappears with time. Patients can go home within a few hours prior to the surgery, although, if you prefer, you can stay overnight in the hospital while being observed by our professional staff.
You can expect your head and ears to throb for the first few days, as well as a certain level of pain (which can be relieved by prescribed medication). Swelling and bruising are also normal, but disappear after a week or so. Eventually, the heavy dressing on your head will be replaced by lighter bandages and non-dissolvable stitches are taken out around a week prior to the surgery. You will have to wear the bandages for at least 2 weeks after your initial treatment.
You should avoid shampooing your hair for at least a week; after this, you will be allowed to wash it, but always being careful not to allow any water into your ear. To do this, we recommend you use a Vaseline-smeared cotton ball and place it inside your ear and seal it with more Vaseline. If you have stitches behind your ear, you must also make sure you keep these dry.
Any type of activity which may cause the ear to be bent should be avoided for at least month, since it can have serious repercussions on the results of the treatment. You should refrain from doing any exercise as well, especially no heavy weight lifting, jogging or aerobics. Adults can usually go back to work 5 or so days afterwards and children can return to school within a week, if they are careful when playing.
As with any type of Plastic Surgery, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. However, they are usually minor and can be reduced by precisely following your doctor’s directions before and after the procedure.
Patients who have undertaken an otoplasty procedure have sometimes experienced an over-correction of the ears (which places them too close to the head), development of keloids (excessive scar tissue), hematomas, infection (treated with antibiotics) and loosening of stitches (which causes the ear to return to its original position), meaning that a second procedure may be needed.
Make sure to ask your surgeon concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking this surgery. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else. In order to keep the risks at a bare minimum, please make sure that you follow your surgeons instructions at all times.
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