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Otoplasty

Ears that pop out from the side of the head can be embarrassing and unflattering. Many people are insecure about large, protruding ears that cause the face to appear unattractive and unusual. Unfortunately, this is one of the characteristics of the face a person cannot change on their own. Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is an option to correct the appearance of the ears. A common procedure performed on children, otoplasty is also a surgery that can be an option for adults who have been suffering from the torment caused by having large ears their entire lives. After undergoing otoplasty, patients can achieve ears that sit back on the face and create overall better facial balance.

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Achieved With Otoplasty

Correction of Prominent Ears

A majority of otoplasty patients are children who have become targets of ridicule and teasing from their peers due to enormous or protruding ears. Adults may have put off surgery and later decide to undergo otoplasty to help them feel better about themselves or even excel in their careers. Otoplasty is performed to bring the ears closer to the head and/or to correct the appearance of large, prominent ears.

Achieved With Otoplasty

Better Facial Harmony

All of the characteristics of the face affect a person’s overall look. When it comes to the ears and their role in facial harmony, instead of being a focal area of the face, they work better by blending in. After otoplasty, patients are rewarded with results that are satisfying and that create overall better facial harmony.

Achieved With Otoplasty

Increased Self-Confidence

Large, protruding ears have prompted hurtful nicknames such as “Dumbo.” Hurtful words describing a person with abnormal ears can haunt them and may result in a significant decline in their overall self-confidence. After undergoing otoplasty, patients find that they are happy with how their ears look and that this dramatic change has provided them with overall gratifying results. They feel more confident and less self-conscious about their physical presence.

What Does Otoplasty Entail?

Consultation

Before your procedure, you will meet with Dr. Pontell and he will go over the surgery. He will evaluate your goals and address all of your concerns. Dr. Pontell will examine your ears and suggest the best approach for achieving the most aesthetically pleasing outcome. He will use computer imaging to provide you with a good idea of what to expect from the procedure.

What Does Otoplasty Entail?

Procedure

Dr. Pontell starts by making an incision on the back of the ear along the area where the ear cartilage joins the head. To correct ears that protrude, he will reshape and sculpt the ear cartilage so that the ears sit closer to the head. Once the cartilage is reshaped, the incision will be closed with stitches.

What Does Otoplasty Entail?

Recovery

The head will be wrapped with bandages to assist in proper healing and to secure the ears in the correct position. After a few days, the bandage will be replaced with a small headband. Patients will likely feel some pain and throbbing in the ears for a couple of days. It is important that patients keep the head elevated to avoid putting any pressure on the ears. Children should have a responsible adult care for them during their recovery process. Patients should not do any strenuous activities for the first two weeks after surgery. Most patients go back to work after a week or less.

What Does Otoplasty Entail?

Scars

Patients will have a scar on the back of the ear, but the incision is placed in an inconspicuous area so the scars should be barely noticeable.

What Does Otoplasty Entail?

Pain

For the first few days after surgery, there will be some pain. However, Dr. Pontell will prescribe oral pain medication to alleviate any discomfort.

What if a Revision Otoplasty Is Necessary?

Although otoplasty is a safe and effective procedure and the vast majority of patients are very happy with the results, some patients may be unsatisfied with their results or experience unexpected changes to the ears. It is important that patients who are considering a revision otoplasty make sure their ears are fully healed and that they have waited at least six months since their original surgery.

Faq

  • Who is the best candidate for otoplasty?
    Ideal candidates for otoplasty have large, protruding ears that they would like to have corrected. Children should be at least five years of age, as this is when the ears generally reach the majority of full growth. It is important that young patients are able to communicate their feelings, want to undergo the procedure, and are healthy without any serious illnesses. Adults should be in good health, non-smokers, and realistic about their expectations.
  • How long will my otoplasty results last?
    Since the ears do not grow or change after a certain age, once the corrections performed during otoplasty are made, results will be permanent.
  • What type of anesthesia is used for otoplasty?
    Otoplasty can be performed using local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. If the surgery is done under local anesthesia, medications are administered before the procedure to provide the patient with additional comfort.
  • What are the risks and complications associated with otoplasty?
    As with any surgical procedure, there are a few risks associated with otoplasty. These include infection, anesthesia risks, poor wound healing, unfavorable scarring, lack of symmetry, and bleeding.
  • Can otoplasty affect my hearing?
    The mechanism for hearing is located inside the ears. Otoplasty only involves altering the outside of the ears, so it will not affect a patient’s hearing.

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