Are You Considering Otoplasty?
By Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists, on October 31, 2014
Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, is a procedure that parents commonly request for their children to correct ears that stick out from the head. It can also be performed on adults. If you have been considering this procedure for your child or for yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.
Benefits of Otoplasty
Ear reshaping is a cosmetic procedure that makes the ears look better. It’s considered to be fairly low-risk, as the incidence of infection and other complications is low.
When performed on children, it can reduce the possibility that they will be teased or suffer low self-esteem as a result of having very prominent ears. Adults may also find that their self-confidence is renewed if they are currently self-conscious about their ears.
The results of otoplasty are generally permanent, so you will not have to go back to your plastic surgeon for follow-up surgeries; this is true even when the patient is as young as five or six years old.
Potential Risks and Complications
As with any surgery that requires anesthesia, there’s always the chance that you will have a complication related to the medications or sedation. If you have had problems with anesthesia in the past, be sure to talk to your surgeon about this.
While otoplasty is not a very risky surgery, there is also the chance that you might experience an infection, reduced sensation in the area or problems with bleeding or fluid accumulation. Again, your surgeon will discuss these possibilities with you.
Recovery From Ear Reshaping
In general, children tend to recover more quickly from the pain and discomfort associated with ear surgery. This is because they have softer cartilage than adults do.
You will likely have mild to moderate pain and tenderness; this can often be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications, but you might get a prescription for a stronger painkiller from your surgeon.
You won’t be able to drive for a day or two, so make sure that you have someone to drive you home after your surgery. Also, you will need to take it easy for a week or so. It’s best to rest with your head elevated most of the time.
Your surgeon will let you know when and how often to change any dressings that you have on your ears, as well as how to care for the wound. If you are given antibiotics or an antibiotic ointment, be sure to use as directed to prevent infection.
Ear surgery, like most types of cosmetic surgery, has the potential to make you feel better about yourself and more comfortable in your own skin. If you are considering otoplasty for yourself or your child, call our office today to schedule a consultation appointment.