Otoplasty is a cosmetic surgery operation that corrects prominent ears – meaning large or misshapen ears.
Young patients can undergo the procedure, but they must be older than five years. An Otoplasty involves a plastic surgeon using special suture techniques to reshape cartilage into a better, more natural shape.
Why is this cosmetic procedure necessary? Many patients find their ears are larger than they like. For children, this can be a cause of discomfort. It some cases, it can lead to a lack of confidence about one’s appearance. This may last into their adult life. Prominent ears are usually an hereditary trait. In fact, roughly one in four children from parents who have prominent ears will also inherit them. Other causes of misshaped ears include injuries, such as head trauma.
After the operation
Most patients will use a comfortable head dressing, to help the ears mend and stay clear of any possible outside interference.
When the surgeon removes the head dressing, the patient will have to wear a headband to continue protecting their ear or ears. The main reason a headband necessary is to ensure that the ears are not accidentally pulled – especially at night while sleeping. They need special protection while still repairing after the otoplasty procedure. Furthermore, the headband will also aid the healing process. It does this by compressing the ears, which is good for the swelling and will remove tension from the sutures put into the ear cartilage. Plus, it will keep the ears in their new position.
The headband doesn’t have to by anything too special. A tennis headband is just fine – even if you don’t have a racquet! Joking aside, it’s important to remember that the headband is a very important part of the healing process. Even if it does not please many people’s aesthetic sense.
Luckily, patients won’t have to wear a headband for very long. You should wear it during the first week post-surgery. Then can you can take it on and off after this time. Patients can resume work or school about a week after the operation, while normal activities should wait for one to two weeks.