An otoplasty rectifies abnormalities or defects to the external ears and enhances the ears aesthetically. It refers to the reforming, “pinning” or reshaping of the ears by setting the ears back in closer proximity to the head. This facial cosmetic procedure is relatively simple and can significantly alter both the emotional status and appearance of a patient.
There are various stages during the recovery process. Each individual may vary in terms of healing and recovery time. Recovery care will involve the following:
A mild compression garment is worn on the head for the first 24 hours after surgery. Your ears may appear larger and swollen than ideal.
It is then advised you wear a headband over the ears as much as possible for 24-72 hrs. The swelling will begin to dissipate.
After 72 hours to the first week, you may be able to return to work. This will depend on how comfortable you feel in terms of the swelling, your what type of duties you work involves.
During the first week and second week after surgery, you will feel more comfortable in social situations in relation to your ears.
By month three, the swelling will have completely subsided.
There are two elements which can make an ear look prominent. Firstly, ear projection, or how far the ear sticks out from the head. The more pronounced the ear(s) from the head, the more attention it will draw to itself. Secondly, the relative size of the ears in comparison to the head and other facial structures may be a factor. Generally size is measured from the top of the ear to the ear lobe. During an otoplasty, size and projection are addressed via a range of ear manoeuvres in order to bring the ear closer to the head in addition to decreasing the decreasing the surface of the ear (if required).
There are few medical contraindications to an otoplasty. If you have a history of chronic ear infections or suffered episodes of chondritis (cartilage inflammation) you may not be an ideal candidate for otoplasty surgery. If you have had previous episodes of Keloid or hypertrophic scars; there is the possibility for keloid formation after your otoplasty procedure.
Scars and incision placement are an important aspect of otoplasty surgery. Generally scars are permanent and placed in the fold between your scalp and ears. It is unusual to be able to see the scar unless you fold the ear forward. Utilizing silicone sheeting or gel may be advised to minimise scarring.
Cup ear(s) may be termed ‘constricted ears’ however, are also referred to as lop ears when upper pole is folded over. In this condition the ear assumes a ‘cup-like’ or constricted manifestation
An Otoplasty can be classified by two approaches. Firstly cartilage sparing techniques avoid full thickness incisions, using sutures to reshape the ear. Dr Turner adopts a tailored method to provide a natural contour adjustment to the ear. He bases his technique on the individual anatomy of the patient. Secondly, cartilage splitting methods; which involve incisions through the cartilage and the repositioning of large portions of the auricular cartilage.
It is extremely uncommon for an Otoplasty to affect your hearing. The mechanism for hearing takes place in the middle and inner ear. Sounds pass through the peripheral auditory canal (eardrum), reaching the tympanic membrane and ossicles (the three bones in the middle ear); finally reaching the cochlea, before travelling to the brain. Any obstruction along the way can affect hearing.
For individual with setback sutures which are placed too close to the external auditory canal, a narrowing of the canal can develop, which may affect the hearing.
The lower section of the ear is addressed by determining the basis of the protrusion. An earlobe reaction or pexy can be performed for individuals with prominent ear lobes. In the circumstance that a patient has too much cartilage in the region, the lower aspect of the helical cartilage (caudal facet) may be modestly trimmed along with the conchal bowl
A lop ear refers to the top segment of the ear being more pronounced due to an absence of antihelical fold.
A Darwinian tubercle refers to a thickened segment of the ear, near the superior and middle pole of the ear. Many patients find this condition a grievance, due to the shape, size, and asymmetrical nature of the Darwinian tubercle. Darwinian tubercle’s are common exceptions of a normal ear and can be identified in approximately 10% of the population. Decreasing the tubercle can be achieved during an otoplasty, by minimising the prominent rim of the ear (helix).
This occurs when the surgeon aggressively sets back the middle of the ear in relation to the upper and lower segments of the ears. It creates the appearance of a telephone. Frequently, failure to adequately correct the superior and lower pole has resulted in telephone ear deformity to balance the appearance of the ear(s).
This can be corrected by determining the key concern regarding the ear(s), and potentially releasing the setback sutures and in reducing the size and shape of the conchal bowl.
Otoplasty procedure costs are based on various aspects including the anticipated length of time surgery will take, the form of reshaping, and type of anaesthesia required. Ordinarily, an otoplasty conducted with a light sedation will cost somewhat less than an otoplasty requiring general anaesthesia.
One of the biggest challenges of otoplasty is creating symmetry post procedure. Dr. Turner performs precise calliper measurements of the superior, middle, and inferior portion of the ear both pre procedure and post procedure allow the surgeon an objective means of adjusting the degree of “pinning” the ears back. Dr. Turner will create symmetry by using measures as well as understanding the healing course that takes place during an otoplasty.
No, the incisions are made behind the ear in the post auricular crease (external aspect of the ear).