ABOUT Ear Correction
Ear Correction surgery is also known as Otoplasty. There are many people who are unhappy with the size or shape of their ears. For some people, their ears protrude more than the desired amount. Whereas, in other cases, the ears may droop too low. However, in either of the cases, the children and adults feel embarrassed and self-conscious about this condition. They often try to hide their ears behind their hairs or try covering it with a hat, just to conceal their imperfection.
But with the advancement of cosmetic surgery, ear correction or otoplasty is chosen by all of these struggling individuals. However, the candidates must only cherry pick an experienced, well-trained surgeon, who is adept in ear correction procedures and who can safely execute the procedure. In-ear correction surgery, one or both the ears may be reshaped for those who are dissatisfied with the shape or size. The orientation of the ears and overall appearance can be rectified.
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The ear correction surgery is a very common procedure, that can reshape the external appearance of your ears and bring the ears closer to the head, which is as popular as hair pinning. The ear correction surgery can also make the ears smaller by reconstructing them and to do so an experienced surgeon is required who has an artistic view. Therefore, ear correction helps to get back the lost confidence and the candidate does not feel self-conscious about their condition. The best part of undergoing an ear surgery is, that it gives a long-lasting result, with the least alterations and minimum downtime.
Since the ear surgery can be performed on children and adults as well, the procedure may slightly differ. For children, the soft cartilage, that splints are usually used for contouring, during the surgery. For adults, the cartilage develops and becomes hard which must be carried out by removing or repositioning the cartilage after making small incisions in the ear. These procedures are, however, executed under general anaesthesia.
Depending on the framework of the face, the desired changes are made and the incisions are made in such a manner, that they are left hidden in the inner side or behind the ears. The extra portion of the cartilage, that sticks out from the face, is cut down to bring a proportionate appearance. If the normal incisions of the ear are missing, they can be recreated by shaping the cartilage with permanent sutures or by scraping the cartilage to contour it. Combination of few techniques may also help to achieve the best-desired results.
The incisions are made to excise the extra skin and fat behind the ears and the cartilage is re-contoured, to bring it in a definite shape and the stitches are sutured up. The surgery from the front view gives the most natural appearance and allows the ears to lie flatter against the head. The location of the incisions solely depends on, what changes are desired. But mostly the surgeons make the incisions in inconspicuous locations, that are found behind the ears, connected to the head or may be within the folds of the ears.
Children’s ears are most often fully developed by age 4. Having the procedure at a young age is highly desirable for two reasons:
- The cartilage is extremely pliable, thereby permitting greater ease of shaping.
- The child will experience psychological benefits by being spared of ridicule in school
Complications are infrequent and usually minor. A small percentage of patients may develop a blood clot on the ear. It may dissolve naturally or can be drawn out with a needle. Occasionally, patients develop an infection in the cartilage, which can cause scar tissue to form. Such infections are usually treated with antibiotics; rarely, surgery may be required to drain the infected area. Recurrence of the protrusion may require a second surgery.
Though ear correction surgery is considered as one of the most effective and useful surgery, it consists of drawbacks like some children may encounter some trouble dealing with the aftercare and the recovery. At times the ear symmetry may also be affected and there are chances, that there are permanent scarring or numbness at the site of operation.
There may be some other risks, that are associated with the ear surgery, that may include adverse reaction to anaesthesia, hematoma, seroma, infection and bleeding, changing in sensation in the area of treatment, scarring, damage to the underlying structures.
The surgeon usually provides sets of pre-operative instructions and performs a detailed analysis of the patients and reviews their medical history. The surgeon may also ask the candidates to stop smoking for at least six weeks before the surgery to facilitate better healing. Some medications like aspirin, anti-inflammatory medicines, and some herbal medications must also be stopped as it may cause increased bleeding. Regardless of the surgery keeping the body hydrated is an important part of recovery.
On the day of the surgery, the surgeons will ask their patients to drink the minimum amount of water and wear comfortable clothes. Then some medications may be administered to comfort them during the ear procedure. Then the surgery will be carried on by following the surgical plan as discussed before the surgery.
- The recovery period may vary from person to person some people can recover quickly whereas others may take some time to recover. The adults and children are usually awake within few hours of surgery and adults may also resume with their office work. But depending on the physical condition some may also be instructed to stay overnight in the hospital until the effects of general anaesthesia wear off.
- The patients will more likely experience pain in the head and ears for few days after undergoing the procedure. But the pain can be resolved with medications for pain, that is prescribed by your surgeon. Immediately after undergoing the procedure the candidate may require to keep their head bandaged for over a week. After a week the bandage will be replaced with a lighter bandage, that looks more like a hairband which must be worn for the following two weeks.
- Overall for adults, the recovery time may last for 5-7 days and a week for children. light activities can be resumed after this, but strenuous exercises cannot be resumed for at least a month. Activities that involve bending of the ears must be avoided for a month.
Q What is the cost of ear surgery?
A The cost of the surgery depends on a variety of factors that includes the extent of the procedure, location of the practice and experience of the surgeon. However, the exact cost will be disclosed at the time of the final consultation keeping a lieu with other factors.
Q What are the risks?
A If the surgery is performed by an experienced surgeon and if the candidate maintains the post-op plans, then it is probably one of the safest procedure. But just like any other procedure it may include some risk, like an allergic reaction to anaesthesia, bleeding, infection, blood clot, unfavourable scarring, asymmetry ears and undesirable results.
Q Who are the best candidates for ear correction surgery?
A The patient must be highly cooperative without any such serious life-threatening illness or chronic ear infection. The patients must disclose all their issues and concerns with their surgeon to avoid certain complications. Most of the patients keep a positive outlook from the surgery, but the patients must follow the post-operative instructions that are provided by the surgeon.
Q Are the results permanent?
A Yes, the results are absolutely permanent and there are no chances for any alteration in the obtained results.
Sameer Karkhanis, MD
Board-Certified Mumbai Plastic Surgeon
Chief Plastic Surgeon & the Director at CCRS is a qualified Aesthetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is Board Certified, with the qualification of DNB Plastic Surgery (Diplomate of National Board). He is an active member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.