If someone has two ears, people don’t really give them much thought, but it’s when those ears stick out a little more than they should that people start paying attention.
Otoplasty is the art of reshaping and pinning the ears back. The ears are either pinned back using permanent sutures or they can be reshaped by removing any excess cartilage. In just two hours, patients can make a slight change that will have a life-changing effect.
Whether you want to get your own ears pinned or want to ensure that your child escapes years of bullying, here are a few things you should know about otoplasty.
Otoplasty Ins and Outs: The Facts You Need to Know
Patients need to be 5 years or older
Otoplasty is a procedure that can be performed on both adults and children, provided the child is older than five. This is because the ear is almost fully developed by the time a child reaches the age of 5. Adults of any age are also candidates for otoplasty.
It’s not a painful procedure
If you opt for incisionless otoplasty, it can be performed under local anesthetic and you will only need over the counter pain medication afterwards. If you need to go the surgical route, the pain might be slightly more and you will need to take some time off work.
Medical insurers won’t always cover the procedure
In some instances, medical insurance companies are willing to cover otoplasty procedures but this is few and far between. So, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to pay for the procedure out of your own pocket.
Your ears won’t be 100% identical
According to cosmetic surgeon specialized in otoplasty, Dr Zurek, even someone who doesn’t have protruding ears doesn’t have perfectly symmetrical ears. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the otoplasty results – the contours of your ears are always going to be slightly different.
Recovery can take a few months
The majority of patients will need to wear a bandage over the ears for a couple of days after the procedure. Thereafter, a headband will need to be worn for over a month to keep the ears in place and protected. Your surgeon will discuss these requirements with you after your surgery.
Contact sports should be avoided
Any sports that place your head and ears at risk should be avoided. If you can’t quit these types of sports completely, it’s best to start wearing a headband in order to protect your ears.
It’s possible for permanent sutures to come undone
Up to 20% of patients do need revision otoplasty. If the sutures that are holding the ears in place come undone, a second procedure is required to correct the angle of one or both ears. The procedure can be performed using a local anesthetic at your surgeon’s offices.
Not just any surgeon can perform otoplasty
Otoplasty is an art and not every surgeon specializes in the delicate anatomy of the ear. Even though many ear, nose and throat doctors do offer ear pinning, it is a cosmetic procedure, which is why it’s best to seek the assistance of a surgeon. Plastic surgeons have the necessary cosmetic training to perform this type of procedure, so take the time to find someone with the necessary qualifications and experience.
Protruding ears are not something that needs to affect your self-esteem any longer – there are both surgical and non-surgical options to consider. Find an otoplasty surgeon in your area to find out which option’s best for you.