Otoplasty is the medical term used for the surgical procedure that seeks to improve the shape and position of the ears. Ears can be large and disharmonic in both children and adults. The alterations in shape or size of the ears can create a feeling of great discomfort to the patient, that may even opt to hide ears under their hair. During childhood this can create a psychological problem, because children are dubbed with names and are the subject of mockery among the other children.
Often young children raise this issue to their parents because of frequent teasing. Surgery may be performed after seven years of age or when the child feels the desire to change this feature.
Otoplasty in adults is usually performed under local anesthesia with sedation, but in children the surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia.
To approximate the ears to the head, the incision is placed behind the ear, along the crease that forms the ear with the head, so it goes unnoticed. There are different techniques to perform otoplasty, some of which are based on the weakening of ear cartilage, which can change its shape, and others are based on the application of a few stitches to align the structures. The goal of both techniques is to produce an anatomically proportionate and natural ear, restoring or maintaining the grooves (helix and antihelix) and normal angles.
After the operation it is common to apply a dressing for 3 to 5 days, after which they will be removed, but the ears can still show the remains of swelling or bruising. During the postoperative period, bands are frequently used to keep the ears close to the head during sleep and at the same time to prevent the patient from mobilizing the area during sleep.
On the other hand, ear lobes where the earring holes have been opened too much or are torn (by the continued use of earrings or avulsion injuries of the earrings) can be repaired by the total closure of the hole and recreation after a few weeks later. In ears that the lobe is too large in proportion to the rest of the ear (very common in elderly), it is possible to decrease the size of the lobe and can be carried out during the intervention of facial rejuvenation through facelift.
Therefore, surgery is best indicated for:
-Adults and children over 7 years of age, both men and women who want to improve the appearance and harmony of the ears.
-Individuals with clear objectives and within the real possibilities of the procedure, including being aware of its limitations.
You will be asked to sign a consent form to ensure that there was a full understanding about the procedure to be conducted and that you are aware of the possible and potential complications.
Possible complications of this surgery include: accumulation of blood under the skin (skin), swelling (edema), infection, poor healing, loss of hair at the site of the incision, the facial nerve injuries followed by facial asymmetry, areas with vascular suffering of the skin, areas with loss of sensitivity,thrombus formation and anesthetic complications.
After surgery you will wake up with healing dressings on the face, whose function is to protect and provide mild local compression. A suction drain could also be made use of. After surgery you will be encouraged to flex and extend your feet, exercising the calves at least 20 times every hour when awake. In the following days, short walks every two hours for about 10 minutes are recomended. Care in relation to wound healing and dressing changes, returns, and the prescription of drugs needed, will be delivered by Dr. Ventura.
The intervention can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general, and the time spent at the health center may be only a few hours if done outpatient, or one day if you enter the clinic.
At first the feeling of swelling (edema), bruising and discomfort on the operated area is normal. The return to normal activities will be gradual and the guidance of Dr. Ventura. Some areas with lack of sensitivity and discreetly hardened in the region operated may occur and gradually improve in the months that follow. As the initial healing process takes about 5 to 10 days, stitches will only be removed after this period. The entire process takes several months and it is therefore necessary to maintain some specific care treatments that will be oriented by your plastic surgeon. The resulting scars are permanent and the final result depends on the individuality of each patient.