Ear surgery (otoplasty) can improve the proportion, position, and shape of the ear. It can treat a defect in the ear structure which has been present since birth, or it can correct irregular ears resulting from an injury.
Protruding ears may cause more embarrassment than assumed by friends or family. In young children, the classroom teasing and nicknames can create stress. Otoplasty is an aesthetic procedure designed to fix ear malformity by repositioning them, so they don’t protrude. The abnormal position of the ears and lack of normal ear folds may see improvement with this surgery.
Following Otoplasty, visual and psychological improvement can be dramatic and rewarding to the patient, family, and surgeon.
For more information about Otoplasty Surgery, call Dr. Zochowski at (614) 490-7500.
What Otoplasty Can Correct
-Overly large ears (Macrotia)
-Protruding ears on both sides or just
-Correct unsatisfactory results from previous ear surgery
What Causes Protruding Ears?
During fetal development, a child’s ears can project away from the head, straight out. By the ninth month, these ears typically assume a position closer to the head and progress to natural folds. When this pre-birth alignment process stops before completion, the ears may lack the usual folds and become prominent.
At What Age is Ear Surgery Usually Done?
Because many children with prominent ears can experience teasing, it may be wise to consider the surgery when they are young, from the ages of five to nine. Correction can spare them emotional distress. However, it is possible to have the surgery at a later date. Many adults seek ear correction through otoplasty.
Use these guidelines to help you make a decision about otoplasty.
-The child is old enough to reason and communicate and agrees with the decision
-The child can follow instructions-He or she is in good health without ear issues or severe illness
-The child is five years or older with fully developed ear cartilage
Teenagers and Adults:
-Have no medical issues and good health
-Has a positive outlook with specific goals for ear surgery
Otoplasty is an individualized procedure, and you should be considered for personal reasons, not to be done to satisfy how someone else thinks you should look.
Why Patients Choose Otoplasty
Otoplasty is an essential aesthetic correction option for children and adults alike. People choose the procedure for different purposes, including:
-To feel more confident and to avoid covering ears with a hairstyle or a hat
-To achieve a new profile the ensures ears will blend and complement facial shape
-To ensure children enjoy improved self-esteem and avoid negative attention from peers
The safety and success of Otoplasty surgery depend on honesty during your consultation. Dr. Zochowski will inquire about aesthetic goals, lifestyle, and health.
Prepare to discuss:
-Your goals and expectations for otoplasty
-Your medical history, current treatments, and any allergies
-Any use of prescribed medications, supplements, vitamins, tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
Dr. Zochowski will:
-Explain your options in detail and recommend a course of treatment
-Evaluate your current health status, medical history, and risk factors
-Discuss the expected result and any potential complications
-Take photographs for your medical file
Your consultation is a great time to learn about Otoplasty so you should come prepared with questions. Information is power, and much of what you learn will alleviate undue stress about the procedure.
Preparing for Otoplasty
You may need to do the following before surgery:
-Visit your primary physician for a medical evaluation to be cleared for surgery
-Have lab tests
-Reevaluate your current medications
-Stop smoking three weeks before and three weeks after surgery
-Avoid taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and herbal supplements as they can increase the risk of bleeding
Dr. Zochowski will provide instructions that cover:
-What to expect on the day of surgery
-What to do during recovery and what you can expect
You will need a responsible adult to accompany you to the surgical center on the day of surgery to ensure you get home safely and have someone to observe you for the first few hours.
Adults often undergo otoplasty with local anesthesia with twilight sedation. Our patients tell us the surgery is painless, and they recall little about the operation. Children may require hospital-based anesthesia, dependant on their age and level of maturity.
Dr. Zochowski uses advanced surgical techniques to correct protruding ears by increasing the antihelical fold (inside the ear’s rim) and to decrease the deepest and largest concavity of the external ear (conchal cartilage). He will perform the incisions on the back of each ear.
If the patient needs incisions on the front of the ear, Dr. Zochowski will hide them within its folds. The use of internal sutures will secure the newly shaped cartilage in its best position; then he will close the incisions with external sutures. He may also remove an appropriate amount of skin behind the ears to compensate for their new location.
Otoplasty Surgery Aftercare
Typically, there is little to no discomfort after otoplasty. There is minimal swelling, and it subsides within a week. The patient is fitted with a head dressing to wear until the day after surgery. Then an elastic headband or stocking cap is worn for approximately two weeks for protection.
A decrease in the area behind the ear is to be expected after repositioning. Incisional scarring is usually minimal and not noticeable to the casual observer because they are behind the ears.
Most patients return to school or light work after a week, but protecting the ears for at least two months is important. Complete recovery takes approximately twelve months.
Otoplasty takes from one to two hours.
Once the dressing is taken off, you will notice a difference in the appearance of your ears, but it’s crucial to keep the dressing on until we remove it.
With good after surgery care, otoplasty is a safe and rewarding operation which carries little risk of complications. Possible Otoplasty complications include a reaction to the anesthesia, asymmetry, visible scarring, blood clot, infection, bleeding, and aesthetic dissatisfaction.
You should avoid strenuous activities after Otoplasty for at least one month, possibly two.
We will remove external sutures after a week if they are not absorbable.
Schedule a Private Consultation
If you’re in the Columbus area and have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher Zochowski, please contact our office today.