Otoplasty ear surgery
Facial Cosmetic Surgery
Otoplasty is a procedure to reposition prominent or protruding ears to a more natural position, closer to the head. It is also performed to reduce the size of large ears. Generally, it is carried out on patients over the age of seven.
Ears are almost fully grown by the age of four, so the earlier the surgery is performed, the less discomfort or embarrassment the child will experience at school. Otoplasty can also be performed on adults, and there are no major risks at this age.
Most plastic surgeons advise parents to observe their child's behaviour in relation to their protruding ears and surgery should not be insisted upon until the child asks for it. Children who are unhappy with their ears and want surgery are more cooperative during the operation, during the postoperative period, and are happier with the result.
Many patients (children or adults) may be uncertain about the outcome of otoplasty. Bear in mind that the goal is for improvement, not absolute perfection. Do not expect exact symmetry, which may even look unnatural. If you discuss the procedure, your expectations and options with Dr Mir, you will be very satisfied with the results.
In the first consultation, Dr Jordi Mir will assess the problem and recommend the most effective technique for your case. You will also be provided with instructions to prepare you for the surgery.
The National Health Service does not cover cosmetic ear surgery, except in cases where a significant psychological disorder is associated or when the deformity is very significant, and provided it is during school age.
| This operation is performed in the clinic’s operating theatre where the entire team of doctors and nurses will ensure that you receive excellent care before, during and after the procedure.
Depending on the type of anaesthesia and the age of the patient, the procedure will be carried out on an outpatient basis or with an overnight stay in hospital.
This surgery lasts for around an hour and a half. The technique used will depend on the specific problem. Generally, a small incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. Internal stitches are then used to reshape the ear. Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove part of the cartilage to achieve a more natural looking ear.
The scar resulting from otoplasty is concealed behind the ear. As the scar is behind the ear, and the ear is closer to the head, the scar will normally be imperceptible.
|Most patients -children and adults- feel fine within a few hours of surgery. A bandage is placed around the head immediately after surgery. The ears may be a little sore for the first few days, but this is easily relieved with medication. In a few days the bandage is changed to a lighter headband-like bandage. It is important to follow Dr Mir's instructions regarding the use of the bandage, especially at night. During the first month, it is important to avoid any activity in which the ears may be bent.
Most adults return to work within four days of surgery; and children can return to school in about seven days, as long as they are careful with physical activities.
When this procedure is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and minor.
However, as with any other intervention, there are risks inherent to surgery and complications inherent to this procedure. A small percentage of patients may develop bruising. Occasionally, an infection of the cartilage may occur which increases scar tissue in the ear, and this is treated with antibiotics. On rare occasions, surgical drainage may be necessary.
The most frequently performed ear surgery is aimed at correcting protruding ears. This operation is frequently requested by adolescents and even children, due to the psychological and social problems that this irregularity can cause. Depending on the age of the patient to be treated, the operation can be performed under general or local anaesthesia. The incision is usually made behind the ear, leaving a practically invisible scar. From this incision, the ear cartilage is reshaped, making it fold in the appropriate places and removing an ellipse of skin, which is sutured.
A bandage is applied to shape the ears so that they heal in the correct position. Once removed (after a few days), an elastic headband is worn at night for the first month to prevent the ears from folding forward during sleep. The result of this operation is permanent. Touch-ups are rarely necessary, and complications related to skin or cartilage, are rare.
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