Q: What is Otoplasty?
Ear reshaping Surgery - Otolasty - is a surgical procedure to improve the shape of the ears, in both males and females of any age. The commonest problem when it is needed is the congenital (by birth) prominent ear, where the normal ear folds are missing-the ears seem to be sticking out of the head. Other problems that can be corrected by an Otoplasty procedure include any minor problems in the pinna such as extra hole in the central pinna or enlarges ear lobule slit (where earrings are worn). Unless specified, the problem refers to the procedure to correct the congenital problem
Q: What are the problems that may occur due to prominent ears?
Ears that stick out prominently from the side of the head cause great embarrassment and distress to children, as they are subject of teasing and taunts from their peers. Adult females with this problem are unable to wear their hair tied behind the head; males tend to leave long hair locks on the side to cover the ear. Correction by surgery gives freedom from these mental and physical problems.
Q: What is the suitable age for this surgery?
The surgery is most common at 5-6 years of age, though it can be done even in adults, if they have missed the opportunity for the correction as a child.
Q: Am I a good candidate for Otoplasty?
You mat be a good candidate for surgery, if you have any of the above problems.
If your ears are prominent and stick out.
If you are reluctant to wear your hair tied behind the back.
If you are commonly teased due to ears sticking out.
If one of your ears are looking larger than the other.
Q: What do I expect I my first consultation with the Surgeon?
Once you give details of the problem and the trouble it causes you, your ears will be examined. You will be explained the procedure, the benefits and the possible risks and complications.
Photographs will be taken to document the problem and explain the problem and the correction planned.
Q: What exactly is done in the surgery?
The exact position where the fold will be created in the pinna is decided and marked before the surgery.
Suitable anaesthesia is given; this may be general Anaesthesia in a child or Local Anaesthesia with Sedation in a Child. The pinna is opened from behind, the cartilage may be scored, excised or plicated with stitches to create the new fold and give the pinna it's new shape. The overlying skin is finally closed with stitches.
When done as a day care procedure, the patient can go home the same day.
Q: Will the scars of the surgery be seen?
By correcting the problem with an incision on the back side of the ear, the scar lies in a hidden area not seen from front at all.
Q: What are the risks/complications associated with the surgery?
Complications related to the Otoplasty Surgery are extremely rare, however there are issues you should be aware before you proceed with the surgery.
Q: What preparation is needed before I go in for the procedure?
Smoking has to be stopped about 4 weeks prior to the procedure.
Blood thinning drugs (Aspirin/Dispirin) and Vitamins need to be stopped 2 weeks prior.
Fasting is needed at least 6 hours prior to the procedure.
You need to be accompanied by a responsible adult throughout your stay in the hospital.
Q: What can I expect immediately after the surgery?
Your ears may feel heavy or sore initially, which will settle down slowly.
There may be some dressings over the initial few days till the wound becomes dry.
Q: How is the recovery after the surgery?
Obvious changes are seen immediately on completion of the surgery. Finer details achieved by the surgery will be seen only after 6 weeks once the swelling has begun to settle. Final shape of the ear is best appreciated at about 6 months.
Any pressure on the ears is to be avoided over the initial 2 weeks. Further care will be told as the recovery progresses.
Q: What is the long term outcome after the surgery?
Visits to the surgeon as specified will keep your recover smooth.
It will also help clarify all your remaining doubts if any.
Photos of the surgery result will be taken when appropriate.
What are the other common shape correction procedures done on the ears?
Perforation (Hole) in the Central Pinna closed without visible scars
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