We all have those areas on our face or body that we’d love to alter slightly, to help give us that self-esteem and confidence boost that we are lacking. For some of us, it’s our ears. Children can be bullied at school by classmates for having ears that stick out just a bit too far, or due to a genetic concern that led to malformations of the ear. Adults are definitely not immune from the anxiety and loss of confidence that can accompany having ears that are too large or otherwise simply not what you’d prefer them to be.

Otoplasty, or ear surgery, can help to correct a number of concerns with the shape, size, and positioning of the ears.

Who is the ideal candidate for otoplasty?

The ideal candidate for any surgical procedure is an individual who is in overall good physical health. Be sure to completely discuss your medical and health history with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.

The following concerns can also see you qualifying as a candidate for otoplasty.

  • Having a great amount of anxiety about the look of your ears
  • Prominent or sticking out ears
  • Misaligned, misshapen and even disproportionate ears
  • Needing a natural look for your ears

According to plastic surgeon Dr. Cleland, children as young as 5 who have ear abnormalities may qualify for surgery to correct them. Older children may also qualify if they are looking for cosmetic solutions. Ears tend to reach their full size around the ages of six, which is why it’s possible for children as young as five or six to get corrective or cosmetic surgery. Some concerns may be so severe that it’s best to address them as early on as is possible in order to minimise the trauma that can be seen with bullying in school.

What can be expected during ear surgery?

On the day of the procedure, patients are advised to not eat or drink prior to their surgery. General anaesthesia will be used during the procedure, for most patients. Some may be better suited for local anaesthesia or IV sedation.

Patients will be monitored during the procedure to ensure their heart rate, blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels are maintained. The surgeon will behind the procedure, based upon the surgical plan that you agreed upon during your consultation.

Most otoplasty procedures do not take an excessive amount of time. Once completed, patients will be taken into recovery to be monitored. Most patients will be released to go home after a few hours of observation unless other plans have been made for postoperative recovery.

Otoplasty aftercare and recovery

As with any surgery, there is a recovery period that will require patients to avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. After the procedure, you will receive aftercare and recovery instructions about post-surgical care.

These instructions could include information about any drains if they have been placed. Normal symptoms to expect during recovery will also be included, along with some potential complication signs to be aware of.

A dressing will be wrapped around the ears after surgery to protect them. Your surgeon will let you know when you can remove the dressing and may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to be used as the incisions heal. Other prescription pain medication may also be offered, including pain management solutions.

While each patient is different in terms of healing and recovery, most can expect to work and light activities within a week. After two full weeks, the final results of the procedure will be visible. Results from the otoplasty procedure are typically life-long results.

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