otoplasty or ear surgery
Plastic surgeons specialists in otoplasty in Málaga
Otoplasty is the surgery performed to reposition prominent or “protruding” ears to a more normal position, closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Generally, it is a surgery that is performed on children aged between 4 and 14 years. The ears are almost completely grown at 4 years, so the surgery is performed as soon as possible, to lower the amount of teasing of the the child at school.
Otoplasty can also be performed on adults, as there are no major risks at this age. If you or your child is considering otoplasty, you can get basic information about the surgery: when it is indicated, how it’s performed and what results can be expected.
Most plastic surgeons recommend that parents observe the child’s behaviour in relation to their prominent ears and they should not insist on the surgery until the child so desires. Children, who are unhappy with their ears and want the surgery, cooperate more during surgery and are happier with the result.
Many patients, children or adults, may be unsure about the outcome of otoplasty. Note that the surgery aims to achieve improvement, not absolute perfection. Do not expect an exact symmetry, as that would be unnatural. If you talk with your plastic surgeon about, the procedure, and their expectations and options, the results will very satisfactory. In the first consultation, the plastic surgeon will assess the problem and recommend the most effective technique for your case. It will also provide instructions to prepare for surgery.
The Spanish Social Security does not include performing otoplasty for aesthetic reasons, except in cases where there is a psychological disorder associated to it or when the deformity is very prominent, and as long as it is during a child’s school age.
Otoplasty is performed in the operating room, within a clinic or hospital. Depending on the type of anaesthesia, the procedure is performed in an ambulant regime or the patient remains in the hospital the night of surgery.
If the child is small, the plastic surgeon will recommend performing the procedure under general anaesthesia. For older children and adults, local anaesthesia is used with or without sedation: this means that you are awake during surgery, but relaxed.
Otoplasty usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours, although complex cases may take longer. The technique used will depend on the specific problem. Generally a small incision is made at the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. After the cartilage is sculpted and folded back, internal sutures can be used to maintain the new shape. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove part of the cartilage to get a more natural ear.
Finally a wedge of skin from the back of the ear is removed. The scar resulting from otoplasty is hidden behind the ear. Usually, even if only one ear appears abnormal, both ears will be treated to get a better symmetry.
Most patients, children as well as adults, are well within a few hours of surgery, although it may be advisable to stay overnight in the clinic until the effects of general anaesthesia wear off. A bandage is placed around the head after completing the surgery.
The ears may hurt a bit the first few days, but the discomfort is easily relieved by medication. In a few days the bandage is changed to a lighter headband.
It is important to follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon regarding the use of the dressing, especially at night. Any activity that may bend the ears should be avoided during the first month. Most adults return to work after 5 days of surgery; children return to school in about 7 days, provided they are careful with physical activities.
When otoplasty is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon complications are infrequent and minor. However, as with any other procedure, there are inherent risks and complications. A small percentage of patients may develop a hematoma, which dissolves spontaneously or may required drainage.
Occasionally, an infection of the cartilage that increases the scar tissue of the ear may occur; treatment consists of taking antibiotics; rarely is surgical drainage necessary.
The surgery performed most frequently to correct “protruding ears”. It is a procedure that frequently requested by adolescents and even children, because of the psychological and social problems that this deformity entails. Depending on the age of the patient to be treated, the procedure can be performed under general or local anaesthesia.
The incision is usually made behind the ear, thus leaving an almost invisible scar. From this incision the ear cartilage is reshaped, making folds in the right places and removing an ellipse of skin. A bandage to model the ears and help them heal is placed in the correct position. Once this is removed (in a week) the sutures are removed and an elastic band is placed for two weeks to avoid ears folding forward during sleep. The result if the operation is permanent. Rarely is it necessary to retouch and complications are unusual.
In addition to prominent ears, other problems with ears can also be solved with surgery. These include the contracted ear and ear cup. Elongated lobes and torn lobes can also be improved surgically. The plastic surgeon is also able to create a new ear when a patient is born without ears or when you lose them by trauma.
The information contained on this page cannot replace the information provided individually by your plastic surgeon. In case of doubt, our plastic surgeon will provide the appropriate clarifications.
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The information contained in this page in no case can, nor does it pretend, to replace the information provided individually by your plastic surgeon. In case of doubt, your plastic surgeon will provide you with the necessary clarifications. If you are thinking of undergoing a Plastic or Aesthetic Surgery, go to a Specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
Otoplasty or surgery of the ears is a surgical procedure designed to correct the prominence or separation of the ears from the head.