Otoplasty is a cosmetic ear surgery designed to completely alter the shape, position, or size of the ears. It can be performed on one or both ears, and is typically considered by those who have misshapen ears, either as a result of injury or birth defect. Otoplasty is not a minor procedure, and there is a long list of health considerations that need to be taken into account prior to undergoing this operation. Your maxillofacial surgeon in Melbourne can help you determine if this procedure is the right choice for your needs.
Am I a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
Being unhappy with the size or shape of your ears isn’t quite enough to determine whether or not otoplasty is a good decision for your needs. There are some for whom ear deformity is a major concern, and undergoing this procedure could have a drastic and positive impact on quality of life.
Patients who are an ideal candidate for otoplasty tend to have ears that are prominent in size and are bent down or forward in shape. This is the simplest aesthetic ear issue to address with otoplasty, as the procedure can be used to pin back the ears without any severe changes to the size or position. However, even the simplest version of this procedure requires a great deal of expertise and care. Prior to making the decision to get otoplasty, you should discuss the following factors with your physician:
- Ethnic background
- Skin type
- Individual hearing ability
- Personal age
While age is something that will be taken into account to determine any associated risks with undergoing this procedure, the otoplasty procedure is designed to be performed at any age. Young children born with ear deformities can undergo otoplasty to fix the concern and reduce discomfort associated with an abnormality in early adolescent years.
Ear Reshaping for Children
One of the most important things to take into consideration when considering ear reshaping surgery for young children is the molding of soft cartilage following the procedure. This isn’t as much of an issue for adults, but for young children it is possible for the otoplasty to be completed and for the cartilage in the ear to continue growing misshapen, therefore undoing some of the determined size and placement of the newly shaped ear.
For this reason, it is often recommended that children with protruding ears who are ideal candidates for otoplasty wait until they are just prior to school-age for the procedure—which is typically between five and six years of age.
About the Otoplasty Procedure
The otoplasty procedure always requires the use of an intravenous sedative, as well as a local anesthesia, which in this case would specifically be a local auricular block. This is combined with a skin excision along the backside of the ear and traditionally also requires a scoring of the cartilage with a non-absorbable mattress which is designed to pull back the ears.
While otoplasty is a severe surgical procedure that is often used to improve personal aesthetics, it is also rather common. Hearing is not impacted in any way by this procedure. The otoplasty procedure is entirely designed to adjust ear shape, and will not restore hearing ability. It also will not cause damage to your hearing ability in any way.
There are several risks associated with the otoplasty procedure, including risks of scarring and changes in the sensation of the skin. Generally risks to hearing are low. Prior to making the choice to undergo otoplasty it is recommended that you have a long conversation with your maxillofacial surgeon about your options, and your surgeon will help you make the best decision for yours and your family’s needs.
Otoplasty at Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery
At Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery, we work with one on one with all of our patients to determine if this type of procedure could help benefit their lives. Dr. King Kim will discuss your options in our Melbourne or Rockledge office and schedule any pre or post-op consultations, as well as go over what to expect when receiving an otoplasty. To schedule a consultation with us, contact us online today!