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?
The best candidates for Otoplasty corrective surgery are adults, and children, who are in good general health, have had no untreated chronic ear infections, are emotionally mature enough to understand what cosmetic surgery entails, and who have realistic expectations about what this procedure can do for them. Otoplasty does not solve hearing problems and, occasionally, more than one procedure may be necessary.
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.
The advantage of this technique is that a natural bend in the cartilage is often achieved. Cartilage incision techniques are also performed to modify the ears’ shape; the results are permanent and there is less likelihood of suture extrusion, as less suture material is used.
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.