Just because you were born with large or protruding ears doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Cosmetic ear surgery can reshape your ears and position them closer to your head. The friendly professionals at Real Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC have helped lots of Melbourne patients improve the appearance of their ears with a simple surgery called otoplasty.
How Long Does Otoplasty Take?
Depending on how much of a correction you’re seeking and how your ears will be revised, it could take anywhere from one to three hours for us to complete this surgery. This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. For patients who are adults or older children, local anesthesia is often used. Children may receive general anesthesia.
The recovery time associated with this procedure is usually around six weeks, although you’ll begin to see improvement in your ears in just two to three weeks.
What Is Otoplasty?
This procedure is one of the most commonly requested facial plastic surgeries. It focuses on the outer ear, which is also called the auricle. The outer ear does not influence our ability to hear, so any revisions to the auricle are usually done for cosmetic reasons. This surgery is most often done to repair deformities that have been present since birth, although it can also be done to repair an ear damaged as a result of an injury.
This type of surgery can be performed to reduce the size of large ears, enlarge small ears or ears that did not fully develop, or reposition the ears in a way that brings them closer to the head. When this procedure is used to bring protruding ears closer to the head, it is referred to as ear pinning.
Because this procedure is performed primarily from behind the ears, there are usually no visible scars from the front.
What Happens During This Procedure?
We develop a custom surgical plan for each patient that meets his or her needs. We’ll start by making an incision either on the back of the ear or inside the ear folds. We’ll then revise the ear, which depending on your cosmetic concern could involve manipulating or removing cartilage and skin, bringing the ears closer to the head, or improving their symmetry. We’ll then close the incisions with stitches.
Will I Have Any Special Requirements After?
A dressing will be placed over year ears immediately after your surgery. You’ll want to keep that dressing dry and clean and also keep your head elevated. During your recovery, it will be a good idea to avoid scratching or touching your ears. Plan to wear clothing that doesn’t have to be pulled over your head, such as button-up shirts. You’ll also want to find a sleeping position that doesn’t involve resting your head on the ears.
Patients are often asked to refrain from strenuous exercise for several weeks after the procedure to allow plenty of time for healing. We also recommend that patients refrain from washing their hair for several days, because many hair products contain chemicals that could irritate the incisions. And for many patients, we suggest wearing a headband after surgery to protect the ears.
What Advantages Are Associated With This Treatment?
Patients who have undergone this treatment may see a noticeable improvement in the look of their ears and enjoy a boost in self-confidence as a result. Feeling embarrassed and self-conscious about your ears can take a toll on your self-esteem. Patients who have had this treatment say they feel normal again. They no longer hide behind hats and scarves. They’re free to be themselves again.
This procedure permanently reshapes or repositions your ears. That means you’ll probably be able to enjoy your results for years to come without needing to return for touchup treatments or taking any other special steps. If your ear shifts in position after surgery, it will be due to natural growth and it may only be a minimal shift.
The recovery period associated with this procedure is minimal. Patients wear a dressing over their ears for several days and refrain from strenuous activity for several weeks. Most patients find these aspects of the recovery to be very manageable. Given the noticeable and long-term results this treatment offers, the recovery requirements are modest.
A Versatile Approach
This type of surgery can be used to address a wide range of structural issues, including overly large, folded, cupped, protruding, or small ears. This procedure can also improve the appearance of a “cauliflower” ear, an ear deformity caused by blunt trauma that results in the bulky buildup of excess cartilage.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Mr. Stephen Salerno. Mr. Salerno received his medical degree from Monash University. He completed a plastic surgery residency and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
During your consultation, Mr. Salerno will evaluate your ears and head, and talk with you about your concerns. He’ll determine if this treatment is the right step for you. Patients who are good candidates for this treatment usually have several things in common.
They’re Bothered by the Appearance of Their Ears
The ears are one of our more prominent features and they significantly influence our overall appearance. If you’re bothered by the size or shape of your ears, or you’re embarrassed by the degree to which your ears protrude from your head, it may be time to seek surgical correction. Children and teens who are teased about their ears are often particularly eager for this surgery.
They’re at Least Five Years Old
Around the age of five, the outer part of the ear has reached 90% of its adult size. For that reason, this treatment is usually not performed on anyone under the age of five. This surgery is performed on both children over five and adults. In fact, it is one of the few cosmetic surgeries that is routinely performed on children. Younger patients actually have more resilient cartilage, which helps with this procedure.
They Don’t Smoke
Smoking can decrease blood flow, slowing the natural healing process. The best patients for this procedure don’t smoke.
They’re in Good General Health
Ear pinning patients are also in good overall health and have no underlying medical conditions that could slow the healing process. The ideal patient also has a realistic expectation about the outcome of this treatment.
Is Surgery My Only Option?
If you’re bothered by misshapen or protruding ears and want to take steps to correct them, this type of surgery is usually your only option. If protruding ears are diagnosed in babies less than three months old, the ear can sometimes be reshaped without surgery. But for most patients, surgery is the only option.
Otoplasty and Pierced Ears
Patients sometimes ask if this surgical procedure can be performed on pierced ears. The answer depends on where the piercing is. A normal earlobe piercing represents no problem for this type of surgery, although earrings and all other jewellery will need to be removed for the procedure. Depending on the type of procedure performed, it could eliminate any piercings on the outer rim of the ear’s cartilage, often referred to as helix piercings.
Tragal piercings on the flap of ear cartilage closest to the face would have to be removed for surgery but could be reinserted the next day. We recommend that patients wait six weeks to two months after surgery before getting any new ear piercings. This gives the body plenty of time to heal and ensures that any post-surgical swelling has resolved itself.
Will This Treatment Help Me Hear Better?
This type of surgery is performed for cosmetic reasons and it will not help you hear better. This surgery focuses on reshaping, resizing, or repositioning the outer ear. The inner part of the ear is what helps us hear.
Why Is a Headband Recommended After Surgery?
The headband that will be recommended after surgery will wrap around the head and over the ears, protecting them and keeping them snugly in place in case they are bumped. Patients often wear the headband all day and night during the first two weeks after surgery and then transition to wearing it only at night for another month. Wearing this headband facilitates your healing and can ensure optimum results.
Will My Ears Be Smaller After This Surgery?
This surgery won’t reduce the size of your ears unless that is one of your stated cosmetic goals. Sometimes when ears are repositioned so that they don’t protrude it appears as though they have shrunk in size, but that’s an optical illusion.
What Will I Feel Like After This Treatment?
Most patients are surprised to find that the recovery period associated with this treatment is quite tolerable and they don’t experience discomfort. The anesthetic we use during surgery, combined with prescription medications the patient will have afterwards, keep patients very comfortable.
How Quickly Will I Be Able to Return to Work After This Procedure?
Each patient’s recovery is different, but many individuals can return to work five to seven days after their procedure.
Does Ear Cartilage Change as a Patient Ages?
Yes. Younger patients often have cartilage that is softer and more malleable than adults do. As we age, our ear cartilage tends to become less pliable.
Can This Treatment Be Performed on Swimmers?
This treatment can be performed on swimmers, assuming they are eligible candidates, but they will face some limitations immediately after surgery. Patients must have completely healed before returning to the pool. We also recommend that swimmers wear a protective swim cap and refrain from diving soon after treatment to avoid trauma to the ear.
Will This Treatment Leave Me More Prone to Ear Infections?
No. This treatment will not influence whether or not you are prone to ear infections.
How Does This Differ from Loboplasty?
Loboplasty is a type of otoplasty that focuses on reshaping and resizing the earlobe. Loboplasty can fix earlobes that have become torn or misshapen as a result of genetics or the aging process. Earlobes that have become stretched as a result of wearing heavy earrings or trauma can also be addressed with this treatment.
Take Control of Your Look Today
Are you bothered by misshapen, protruding ears? A simple surgery that lasts no more than three hours can easily and permanently put those concerns behind you. Once you’ve had this procedure, you’ll never have to worry about your ears again. What are you waiting for? Call Real Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC and schedule your otoplasty consultation today!