Let’s face it, your head is your calling card, the first impression you make on anyone you meet. Most people take the appearance of their ears for granted, but if yours are prominent, protruding, or asymmetrical, you may not be as confident with your appearance as you could be.
Otoplasty surgery, also called ear pinning, is a common and simple procedure that can be performed on one or both ears to balance their appearance and compliment the rest of your face. The procedure is often performed on children at an early age to prevent teasing about their appearance, and ear cartilage is its most malleable in youngsters, but this doesn’t mean that having the surgery later in life is less successful.
If you’re considering otoplasty for yourself, here are some of the important things to know. If you’ve still got questions, call the Aesthetic Surgery Center or click to request an appointment from our website. I’ll be happy to address any concerns you may have.
The purpose of otoplasty
While reconstructive surgery may be necessary to repair trauma damage to ears, otoplasty is typically a cosmetic procedure. It’s not a complex surgery, nor is recovery typically difficult. There are several approaches to otoplasty, and what’s right for you depends on what condition you’re trying to correct and the look you anticipate.
When your ears stick out, it’s usually due to the failure of the antihelical fold formation, which draws the ears to the side of the head. Generally, otoplasty to correct this issue requires no incision. Ear cartilage gets divided using a hollow needle and then remolded with sutures made under the skin. The result is a natural-looking ear with few if any, scars remaining after recovery.
Preparing for otoplasty
As with any surgery, there are precautions to take and preparations to make to ensure the best results. I’ll review any daily medications you take and ask you to temporarily discontinue any that may interfere with the procedure or your recovery. Discontinue pain relief medications other than acetaminophen two weeks ahead of your procedure, and stop taking any nutritional supplements at this time as well.
If you smoke, this two-week window should also include abstinence from nicotine in any form. This is also necessary through the recovery period since nicotine interferes with normal blood circulation, an important function necessary for proper healing.
Recovery from otoplasty
You’ll likely need to take a few days off work, as you’ll have a bandage in place for 3-5 days after your procedure. Once these dressings come off, you’ll wear a headband at all times for a month to assist the placement of your ears during healing. In the second month, you’ll wear the band only at night.
Many patients can handle post-procedure pain with over-the-counter pain relievers, but I can prescribe something stronger if necessary. The cartilage in adults is less malleable than in children, so recovery may be more uncomfortable. I’ll also prescribe antibiotics to prevent post-procedure infection.
Otoplasty has a fairly high recurrence rate, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see the results you want. Revisions are common to fine-tune the results of otoplasty, and these are often performed in-office under local anesthetic. Still, 80% of otoplasty procedures have a successful outcome.
If you’ve been considering otoplasty, give my office a call or click online. There’s no need to endure prominent ears any longer.