The ears make up an important part of our facial symmetry. Their size, shape, symmetry and angle from which they protrude from the head develop in our childhood and is almost completed by the age of 5 years. Thus, misshaped or overly prominent or protruding ears should be corrected at an young age to avoid any later issues of embarrassment or lowered self-esteem. Protruding ears can also be corrected in adulthood.
An otoplasty (‘pinnaplasty’) surgery is a surgical procedure that corrects either the shape, size or angle of the cartilaginous part outer ear or the shape of the earlobes. The results help properly shape and improve the appearance of the ears. The most common type of otoplasty is sometimes referred to as ‘ear pinning’ or ‘pinning back of the ears’.
This will depend on the extent of the surgery; but usually the procedure itself takes between 1 and 3 hours
Since the ears make up an important part of our facial symmetry and appearance, correction of overly large, misshaped or asymmetrical ears and earlobes improves our overall appearance and boosts self-esteem.
Although many adults are in need of ear correction, the majority of patients are under the age of 15 years. The ears are almost completely grown and formed already by the age of 5 years and thus the procedure can be done early in order to avoid any social issues of embarrassment or self-esteem later on. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the majority of patients are between the ages of 4 and 14 years.
This can vary for each doctor, but good general practice is to wait for at least 2 weeks after the surgery before returning to swim. Your surgeon will give you all the necessary instructions before your departure.
Normally, the incisions made during an otoplasty are placed behind the ears in hidden areas or within the creases. After the healing process is complete, the scars will be undetectable.
The results of an otoplasty are permanent. If for some reason you still don’t like the shape of your ears or some asymmetry remains, you may consider having a revision otoplasty.
A headbandage is usually placed immediately after the surgery. The bandage’s purpose is to protect the ears from movement and hold them in their new position. A bandage is normally worn for a week after the treatment. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the surgeon may recommend wearing a headband at nighttime for a few more weeks to protect the ears from movement during sleep. (ie. rolling over)
An otoplasty is usually performed on an out-patient basis with local injection anesthesia. This means you will be awake for the entire duration of the procedure. After the procedure is finished, you may experience some mild discomfort or pain and itchiness. The surgeon will give you some painkillers to help manage this for the first few days. It’s important not to remove the bandages and touch or scratch your ears.
Depending on the extent of the correction, we recommend a 5-7 night stay in Budapest, post-op. This ensures that you have a proper check up, dressing change and possible stitch removal by the time of your departure.
Normal recovery from otoplasty takes a few weeks. The first week being the most important as the wounds are fresh and need to be protected. By the second week, you can return to normal daily routine and activities taking as much care of your ears as possible. All strenuous activities should be avoided for several weeks.
Immediately after an otoplasty, you will be wearing a bandage around your head and ears to protect them from any excess pressure or movement. You should try to avoid sleeping on your sides and ears for the first few weeks. The best practice is to prop up your head on a pillow and sleep on your back.
Like all types of surgery, there are certain risks involved. General risks associated with an otoplasty include infection or bleeding. There is also a risk for some disfigurement of the ears which then may require a revision or secondary corrective surgery.
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