Ear plastic surgery
Cosmetic ear surgery is usually performed for one of two reasons: to reduce the size of overly large ears, or to tuck back ears that stick out too far, so that they sit closer to the head. Most ear plastic surgery is performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14; however, plenty of people opt for ear cosmetic surgery procedures in adulthood. The pinna, which is the cartilage-rich external part of the ear, can continue to enlarge throughout the lives of some adults, particularly males; the size of the pinna can be reduced through ear surgery.
The cost of cosmetic ear surgery varies, depending on whether the earlobes or the pinna is being worked on; earlobes are cheaper to alter. Ear reshaping costs approximately $1,500 to $3,000 for both sides; tweaking your earlobes will cost about $1,000 to $2,000 or so, for both sides. Reconstructive ear surgery costs vary from doctor to doctor.
If you're considering otoplasty for yourself or your child, you should schedule a consultation with a reputable cosmetic surgeon that will take place independently and well in advance of any proposed surgery date. The surgeon will examine the patient's ears, suggest specific procedures or surgical techniques, and mitigate expectations for the final results. Get a referral from your family doctor if you need help finding or choosing a plastic surgeon in your area.
Cosmetic Ear Surgery Procedures
Most otoplasty procedures can be completed in two to three hours. Surgeons usually use a general anesthesia on young patients, so they remain asleep throughout the surgery. Older patients are often given a combination of sedatives and local anesthesia, keeping them awake but relaxed during the procedure.
The surgical techniques the doctor will use depends on the problem being corrected. To reduce the size of ears that stick out, surgeons usually make small incisions that expose the cartilage inside the ear, then reshape or remove excess cartilage before making a "tuck" that will hold the ear closer to the head when surgery is complete.
Risks of Ear Plastic Surgery
Ear surgery is one of the safest cosmetic procedures out there. When performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon, complications are usually minor and easily controlled. However, all surgeries carry risks; cosmetic ear surgery is no different.
Bleeding, scar tissue, infection and reactions to anesthetics are the primary risks of ear cosmetic surgery. In rare cases, a second surgical procedure may be necessary to drain an infected ear of bacteria and pus.
Recovery from Ear Cosmetic Surgery
Patients put under with a general anesthesia may require an overnight stay in hospital until the full effects of the anesthesia wear off. In the days following the operation, pain or throbbing sensations in the ears are the primary cause of discomfort; these symptoms can be managed with pain medications.
Following the operation, the patient's ears are wrapped in a bulky dressing that promote the proper healing of the incisions and prevent infection. After a few days, these thick bandages will be replaced with lighter, less intrusive bandaging. Stitches will dissolve or be removed after about a week; normal activity can be resumed within about five to seven days. Children should be careful when playing and avoid any activities that bend the ears for at least one month following surgery.