Otoplasty, more commonly known as ear surgery, can improve the ear's proportions, position, or shape. It may be used to correct a defect that was caused by injury or present at birth. It may also be used for cosmetic enhancement if you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your ears.
Cosmetic ear surgery creates harmony, balance, and symmetry in the shape of the ears, and the proportions of the ears in relation to the face. You may be a candidate for this procedure if you have:
- Disproportionately large ears
- Misshapen ears
- Protruding ears
- Asymmetry (one ear does not "match" the other)
The procedure begins with anesthesia, delivered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. The surgical technique will depend on the nature of your concerns, and your desired results. Usually, the incisions are created on the back of the ear, so they are well hidden once healed. Occasionally, incisions on the front of the ear may be necessary, in which case they are located within the natural folds, making them discreet.
Correction of protruding ears involves increasing or creating the antihelical fold, which is located inside of the ear's rim. Often, the conchal cartilage will also need to be reduced and shaped. When the procedure is complete, internal sutures are used to secure cartilage and other tissues in place. You will stay in the recovery area for about an hour after the procedure. By that time, you should be alert enough to return home. The incisions will be bandaged, and it is important to leave those covering undisturbed, as directed by your doctor.
In the preliminary phase of healing, your ears will be covered with dressing to support their new structure. You can begin enjoying the results of the procedure right away. Once the dressing is removed, you will notice a more attractive, natural shape to your ears. Depending on the extent of the revision, the results may continue developing in stages. This is especially true in the case of reconstructive surgery. Because your ears will be positioned naturally close to the sides of your head, the surgical incisions should not be visible.
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