Otoplasty, or ear plastic surgery, is one the rarest surgeries individuals tend to perform, thus, unlike other forms of surgeries, not many are familiar with it. People who opt for ear plastic surgery are those who want to change the appearance of their external ears due to different abnormalities such as ears that flare out from the head, oversized, asymmetrical, deformed or damaged ears.
When to Perform It
Ear plastic surgery is best performed while the patient is between four and fourteen years of age. The reason behind this is that ears become fully grown when an individual turns four. Plus, the quicker the child performs ear plastic surgery the less emotional scars he will have to suffer, because other children are bound to tease him and attach nicknames to him. However, adults, too, can apply this procedure as it increases their self-esteem and helps them become more confident in their dealings.
Types of Surgery
There is more than one type of ear plastic surgery which can be performed. The most common type of ear plastic surgery is called ear pinning surgery. This usually is done when ears stick out and need to be corrected. There are three types of sticking-out ears; the first one is when the antihelix, which is the central fold in the ear, is underdeveloped, therefore causing the auricle, which is the visible part of the external ear, to stick out. The second type of sticking-out ears is when the edge of the ear is too short; whereas the third type is when the body of the auricle is overdeveloped, thus giving a flap-ears effect.
Ear plastic surgery for these cases can be simple; however, it is delicate and requires that ears be fully grown before the doctor can do anything. Doctors performing ear pinning surgery will make a vertical incision in the skin behind the external ear to bare the ear’s cartilage. The doctor will then manipulate the cartilage based on the case, thus the cartilage will be corrected, remodeled or sculpted by cutting a small piece out. This reduces the angle of the ear in relation to the head. Later, the incision is closed and a special bandage is applied to add pressure to the ear and ensure that it is held in proper position.
When performing ear plastic surgery of those having deformities, besides using the same methods used in ear pinning, building of the cartilage may be required. In this procedure, cartilage from another area of the body, such as ribs or the other ear, is removed and added into the new organ. The ear will be functional; however, the ear will not look 100% natural or normal in the case of highly damaged ears.
Complications of Ear Plastic Surgery
Despite ear plastic surgery being a very low risk surgery, it still has a few minimal complications that may arise. Still, those complications can become worse if not taken care of sooner. The first problem which may arise after ear plastic surgery is infection of the skin and cartilage. Mild infections can be handled by a dose of antibiotics. However, if scar tissue starts forming, surgery may be required.
Another risk of ear plastic surgery is the formation of blood clots. These can be removed with a needle or may dissolve naturally. In case the patient experiences extended swelling and bleeding, patients must contact the doctor. Children who are usually active may suffer from the loosening of sutures, thus causing the ear to return to its original shape.
Undergoing ear plastic surgery will help you boost your confidence in yourself mainly. However, this is essential for you to face the world during your different dealings, thus an important step you should consider taking.