Normally, some of the most frequent causes for consultation are too big ears or those that are too separated from the head. These differences in the manner or position of the ears can cause psychological problems in some patients and in children an alteration in the relationship with their classmates or a school delay.
For this, plastic surgery relies on a simple operation with very satisfactory results, because it eliminates the complex caused by the defect. The operation is known as Otoplasty.
What does it involve?
It is a surgical operation in which the alterations in the form and the position of the ears are corrected. Usually, it is performed to adjust the prominent or fan ears into a normal position, closer to the head, or to reduce the size of the big ears.
The person who has the ears unstuck has them so because it lacks a fold in the outer ear, the antehelix, which is the one that is right in front of the edge of the ear.
There are various techniques, but the most used carries out an incision at the back of the ear; a skin spindle is removed and the sutures are used to bend the cartilage backwards on itself and to reshape the ear. The front crease of the ear is created by folding the cartilage with some stitches. These stitches maintain the form until you get a scar strong enough, which happens in two or three weeks. The formation of a fold in the cartilage makes the ear rest flatter against the head and makes its appearance more normal. Above all, there is an endeavor to make it as natural as possible, since protruding ears would be equally striking as would be some ears excessively stuck to the head.
Does it leave scars?
Once the incision is carried out at the back of the ears, the small scar is completely hidden.
At what age can one undergo otoplasty?
The ears are almost completely developed from the age of 4. The earlier the surgery is carried out, the less the child will suffer due to his ears at school or with his classmates. In most cases, this operation is performed on children between 6 and 14 years old, however it is not uncommon to reach adulthood and request the surgical correction.
What kind of anesthesia is necessary?
It is recommended general anesthesia in children, with an admission of a few hours to the clinic; in adults, it is performed with local anesthesia, which can be supplemented with sedation so that the patient is awake but relaxed. In this case the operation is performed on an outpatient basis. The operation process usually takes an hour.
First all patients go through a complete medical history, the appropriate preoperative and pictures are taken prior to the operation.
Is this operation painful?
The otoplasty post-operative pain is usually mild, and disappears between 24 and 48 hours. It requires a mild analgesia.
Following the operation the ear presents some redness and swelling that usually disappear after one week. It is recommended to carry an elastic band permanently during the first seven days and to sleep with it during the next three weeks. The important thing is to maintain the ears protected. After the first cleaning the patient can already wash the head.