Our ears come in all shapes and sizes and this is normally influenced by our genes. The unique curves of our ears help us to determine where sound is coming from, and some studies suggest that the outer ear could actually be a better unique identification mark than fingerprints. How far our ears protrude from our heads can also vary from person to person.
When you look in the mirror, do you feel that your ears are more prominent than you would like them to be? Perhaps they seem overly large or small or stick out from your head more than seems ‘normal’. Ears that stick out more than 2cm from the side of the head are considered to be prominent and can be a source of embarrassment, low self-esteem, and other psychological problems. Fortunately, there is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can address virtually any aspect of our appearance causing us concern. In the ears, this is known as otoplasty.
Our board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Eberle, is committed to patient care and has a record of consistently delivering cosmetic surgery procedures that exceed patient expectations at our plastic surgery offices in Weston, FL.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty, also known as ear correction surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to alter the shape, size, or position of the ears so that the patient is happier with their appearance. It is most often carried out when the patient is still a child or young teenager, but plenty of adults decide to get the procedure done for themselves too. It is important to note it is not suitable for under 5s as their ears are still growing.
What is involved in otoplasty?
Otoplasty surgery can be done under a local anesthetic. However, many parents still opt for their child to have a general anesthetic to minimize any distress that they may otherwise experience as a result of being so young. Exactly what will happen during an otoplasty procedure will depend on the changes that you wish to make to yours/your child’s ears and this will have been discussed at your consultation appointment. Depending on the changes agreed, you can expect the procedure to comprise three key stages.
Firstly, Dr. Eberle will make an incision behind each ear to expose the cartilage underneath. This is done behind the ear to minimize any visible scarring. Once the cartilage is exposed, Dr. Eberle will remove any pieces necessary to alter the shape or size of the ear. The ears will then be stitched into the desired shape and position to complete the surgery.
The entire process should only take a couple of hours. If you have had a general anesthetic then you may need to stay in our care overnight until all of the medication has left your system. However, if you have had a local anesthetic, you can probably go home the same day.
Recovery after your otoplasty procedure
A bandage is used to secure the ears, and this will need to be worn immediately after surgery and for at least two or three days. This will help to protect the ears from accidental knocks and bumps, particularly while you sleep. In fact, Dr. Eberle may recommend that you wear a soft headband for several weeks when sleeping. Your bandages will also help to protect the ears from infection.
It is normal to be in a little discomfort for the first few days, and you will be given medication to help manage your pain. You may also experience tingling in the ears for up to two weeks following your procedure. Bruising and swelling are also to be expected.
Certain activities such as swimming and contact sports will need to be avoided for a period of time, but Dr. Eberle will give you specific guidance about when you can feasibly return to different aspects of your life.
Am I a good candidate for otoplasty?
If you are concerned about the size, shape, or overall appearance of your ears then you may potentially be a good candidate for otoplasty. However, every patient must have their suitability assessed on an individual basis to ensure that otoplasty is the right procedure for them. During this consultation, Dr. Eberle will also be able to talk to you about what changes you will likely be able to make and what outcome you can realistically expect from an otoplasty procedure.
If you are interested in learning more about otoplasty surgery, or if you would like to discuss your candidacy from this transformative procedure in the comfort of our offices in Weston, FL please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced and discreet cosmetic surgery team by calling (954) 960-3050 today.