Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures
What Is Otoplasty?
For those who are unfamiliar with the surgical term Otoplasty, another name for the procedure is ear pinning or ear surgery. Otoplasty, is a minor surgery which corrects the profile and appearance of ears which protrude in an unflattering way, may be too large, or not symmetrical. The ears are remodeled and/or reshaped to create a more desirable aesthetic appearance uniquely for each individual patient.
Is Otoplasty Safe For Me/My Child?
Unlike most cosmetic surgeries, Otoplasty is safe for prepubescent individuals, once the cartilage in the ears is fully formed. Corrective surgery is possible for children with protruding, or misshapen ears. Cosmetic surgery to correct prominent ears can be performed after five years of age. By five, the cartilage in the ear is strong enough to withstand surgery, having reached its mature density.
When considering cosmetic and corrective surgery for children it is crucial to allow the body to develop unhindered, this means the cartilage in the ears must be allowed to strengthen before undergoing Otoplasty. Dr. Solomon will evaluate your child’s need and eligibility for this procedure during your private consultation. The vast majority of cosmetic surgeries are not recommended until after the patient has reached puberty, which affords almost any area of the body the chance to develop without interference; ear cartilage, however, never stops growing, so there is no reason to delay, and in fact, Otoplasty has been recorded as less physically taxing on a child, due to their soft cartilage, than on adult patients.
This does not mean Otoplasty isn’t ideal for adults. As is the case with all surgeries, elective or otherwise, the pre-surgical consultation with your doctor will include a physical assessment to determine patient eligibility for the procedure in question, as well as a discussion disclosing any and all risks inherent to surgery, and Otoplasty.
The position, proportion, shape, and symmetry of mature ears may also be corrected or restored using Otoplasty. This procedure is often done in conjunction with another cosmetic surgery, in order to create a more pleasing balance of the facial features.
A common concern for patients, when considering Otoplasty, is the possibility of the surgery causing any damage to the function of the ears. While perfectly understandable, the auditory damage is not a risk of an Otoplasty surgery, as it is strictly a cosmetic procedure and the inner ear will be unaffected. Another concern is an asymmetric result that could be corrected with a “touch up” if needed.
Am I A Good Candidate?
Otoplasty Surgical Techniques
Though there are a number of techniques that can be utilized during Otoplasty, the two most often employed are suture, and scoring. The suture technique uses permanent inner sutures to assist in molding the cartilage of the ears, and permanently altering their shape.
The sutures can rarely be seen through the skin; however, it has been recorded that certain sutures become visible after recovery, should this occur, it is likely the new shape of the ear, and the sutures simply need to be removed. In extreme cases, a second operation may be needed.
Cosmetic ear surgery is generally performed to modify the shape of the ear. In some rare cases, a large ear may be surgically reduced in size, by excising a segment of it. This is generally reserved for extreme cases, as a reduction carries more severe inherent risks than pinning, or shaping (eg. scarring and ear deformity). This elective cosmetic surgery procedure will be reserved for cases wherein Dr. Solomon feels the surgery is justified.
How Long Is The Procedure And Will I Have A Scar?
Otoplasty corrective surgery generally takes about a half hour per ear and is usually performed under local anesthetic, however, when operating on children Dr. Solomon opts for a general anesthetic. The necessary incisions made during Otoplasty are typically placed behind the patient’s ears, where they will be well hidden, within the fold of the ear, and behind hair. Some corrections and techniques may require incisions in the front of the ear, which Dr. Solomon strategically places in a way that the scar will be obscured by the natural curves of the ear.
Permanent internal sutures and/or stitches are used to hold the repositioned or reshaped tissues, and cartilage, in place; removable or dissolvable external sutures will be employed to secure the outer incisions. Dr. Solomon will personalize the technique for each patient depending on their particular needs and goals.
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What To Expect After Surgery
Generally speaking, after Otoplasty surgery, the patient will be required to remain in the recovery room for approximately one hour. Typically, patients are treated with a head dressing for the first 1-2 days, after which time the patient must come into our clinic to have their head dressing removed by our registered nurse. If suturing is required they will dissolve and be absorbed by the body, harmlessly, during convalescence. The patient will then be asked to return a month later to ensure the healing process is progressing as it should. Dr. Solomon will take every precaution to avoid scarring which is not a typical side effect of Otoplasty surgery. A meticulous and experienced facial plastic surgeon such as Dr. Solomon is quite skilled at being able to hide any minor scars behind the ear.
Following most surgical procedures, patients are advised to refrain from engaging in vigorous or strenuous activities such as high impact sports, high impact cardio such as jogging or weight training. In fact, lifting anything in excess of 30 pounds is prohibited for at the first 4 weeks following Otoplasty surgery.
Although it seems as though the head and ears would not be affected by heavy lifting, the physical strain of lifting heavy objects creates a small amount of cranial pressure. While this pressure is typically too faint to be noticeable, when the soft tissues surrounding the surgical site are healing, cranial pressure can be extremely uncomfortable. In some cases, a temporary sensitivity to bending forward as you normally would do prior to surgery, can even cause an uncomfortable buildup of cranial pressure. Excluding the aforementioned conditions, recipients of Otoplasty are able, and encouraged, to return to day-to-day activities following their procedure. Dr. Solomon will provide you with aftercare instructions, in addition to being available to answer any post-operative questions you may have.
Are There Any Risks?
What Results Can I Expect?
The dramatic, positive results of cosmetic ear surgery are immediately noticeable (after the bandages are removed), and the benefits to the recipient’s self-esteem last a lifetime. Otoplasty is not reserved for major corrections, such as unevenness, or protrusion, Dr. Solomon also offers cosmetic ear surgery to those with minor aesthetic imperfections, from ear lobes with wrinkles or creases, to cupped or lopped ears, as there are many reasons an individual may choose to undergo Otoplasty surgery.
Consult With An Experienced Face And Neck Surgeon
During a personal consultation with Dr. Philip Solomon, Otolaryngologist, Head and Neck Surgeon practicing Facial Plastic Surgery in both his Toronto and Thornhill clinics, each patient’s unique needs, and expectations will be discussed in detail. All of your questions and concerns will be addressed to your satisfaction before committing to Otoplasty surgery.
Dr. Solomon will then design a unique procedure plan (complete with comprehensive preparatory, aftercare, and medication instructions) for each individual patient, based on the information gathered during the private consultation.
If you are considering Otoplasty, it is very important for you to choose a reputable, experienced surgeon. The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery recommends that you choose a surgeon who is board certified in Plastic Surgery of the Face and Neck; not all plastic surgeons are board certified, nor are they all certified for Face and Neck Surgery. You can be assured of the knowledge that Dr. Philip Solomon, operating in Toronto for nearly 2 decades, is board certified (ABFPRS); specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck.
Call our offices today if you are interested in learning how Otoplasty could change your life or the life of your child.
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