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Otoplasty: The Perfect Operation for a Life Changing Deformity

Being self conscious over your ears is an easy cosmetic issue to fix. Many parents are reluctant to attempt to correct prominently sized ears that are often the focus of teasing and bullying.  People live for years, wishing they could do something cosmetically to their ears which cause them to alter their hairstyles and wear covering garb to hide their concerns. It’s unfortunate that they did not know how simple it is to surgically correct most deformities until reading this blog. 

Prominent ears describes a combination of developmental abnormalities.  Most of the time there is a failure of the broad section of the ear, called the helix, to curl or fold back toward the head. This is usually combined with excessive growth or hypertrophy of the central bowl of the ear, called the concha, which also cause the ear to stick out or protrude. 

The correction of these developmental problems is relatively simple. By exposing the cartilage of the back of the ear with an incision the cartilage can be furled into a natural curve with sutures placed just in the right places. The concha can be brought closer to the head by removing the soft tissue in between and suturing the concha to the lining of the bone of the head. It makes for the perfect natural looking ear out of a once prominent unusual looking ear. 

The operation is usually done under general anesthesia especially in children. It is performed in an ambulatory surgical center with no hospitalization. The recovery period does require the application of a dressing that keeps pressure on the ears toward the head for about 2 weeks. 

There are very few complications associated with this procedure and they are usually correctable. In some rare cases there could be bleeding beneath the lining of the cartilage called an auricular hematoma.  This has to be recognized and addressed with simple drainage and pressure. Infection is usually avoided by using good sterile technique and prophylactic antibiotics. Lastly further deformity of the ears can be avoided through experience of the surgeon and attention to detail in the pre-operative assessment and during the procedure.  As long as these criteria are met the outcome will be positive.

Otoplasty is one operation that accomplishes the goals that patients, parents and children want out of it.  It corrects a deformity that effects one’s self esteem with little risks and down time while protecting people from looking like they’ve been operated on. 

Otoplasty Patient 3

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