It is a surgical intervention used to correct ear deformities. It is sometimes simple (treating big ear lobes or small defects).
In general, the surgical technique depends on the deformity. The most frequent are prominent ears (projected outwards), usual cause for bullying which can hurt the people with this alteration. Otoplasty allows to remodel, make smaller, stick and place correctly the ears, gicing them a more natural appearance.
Am I a candidate to this surgery?
If you or your child think that your ears are too prominent, that they are extended outwards or too big, and that is an inconvenience to you, you may have this surgery done. Some patients avoid cutting their hair short in order to hide their ears and some women avoid wearing it up and wearing certain hairstyles that may show their ears.
From which age can this surgery be done?
It is possible to perform this surgery on people from 4 or 6 years old, when the ears reach their development. It also coincides when the children start school, where they can suffer from bullying. A lot of adult patients also have this operation, after having thought it for many years.
Which surgical technique is used?
Dr Máiz uses a technique developed by Dr Julio Stédile (Portoalegre, Brazil).
This technique is based on the study of the cartilaginous tissues and their convexities. It can be performed both on children and adults.
This method of immediate repositioning of the ears consists in practicing incisions and microincisions to reshape the convexities of the cartilage as well as to extract fragments of it, depending on the case. The advantages of this technique are:
- This technique does not require inner stitches, while the majority of techniques do. This prevents future problems: intolerance to the stitches, visibility of the stitches, suture errors (with which the deformities come back).
- It reduces drastically the post surgery recovery period and the need of using a compressing band more than 48 to 72 hours.
- It gives smoothness to the folds of the cartilages which gives a natural appearance to the ear.
- It prevents the bad results of other techniques such as ears completely adhered to the head.
- Patients who had already had otoplasties done with bad results can profit from this technique (secondary otoplasty). If the deformity is only on one ear, surgery is performed on both in order to prevent asymmetries.
Why to choose an otorhinolaryngologist?
Otorhinolaryngologists are ear specialists, both in their function (audition) and the alterations and illnesses they can present. These pictures show otoplasties performed during the early 20th century.
Which anaesthesia is used?
Depending on the circumstances both general and local anaesthesia can be used.
How long does the surgery take?
Usually between one and a half hours to two hours, but it may take longer if the case is more complicated. This depends on the deformity and the techniques being used.
Will it leave visible scars?
There will only be a scar where the ear and the cranium are united, but since it is under a fold of the cartilage it will not be visible.
What is the post surgery like?
After the surgery the patient will wear a dressing to help keeping the ears in their new position. It will be removed in three or four days and replaced with an elastic band. After seven days the stitches will be removed.
What can I expect after the surgery?
It is important to keep in mind that the ears are never identical, so after the procedure some small variations may remain.
Bear in mind that an otoplasty improves the appearance and position of the ears but does not perfect them. Even though the ears will look almost normal only two weeks after the surgery, there will have to pass some months before they reach their final appearance (after the disappearance of oedemas and the process of inner scarring is complete).
Is it possible to reduce the size of the ears?
Yes. Otoplasty allows the surgeon to reposition, reshape and reduce the size of the ears, and even to make them more symmetrical.
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