The surgery is outpatient and is accomplished under local anesthesia. Light oral sedation is also available for patients if needed. A single incision behind the ear is used to accomplish the desired changes, which entails the use of deep permanent sutures through the ear cartilage to create the desired contour. These sutures are not visible and only absorbable sutures are used to close the skin incision behind the ear (do not need to be removed). No surgical drains are used.
An ear dressing is placed overnight, and then replaced the next day for two more days. After this, a light elastic headband covering the ears needs to be worn 24/7 for approximately 4 more days, after which it only needs to be worn at night for the next 5 weeks. Most patients are social after about 7-10 days from a bruising and swelling standpoint. Patients can return to low impact activities after 2 weeks, and high-impact activities after 3 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there a minimum age required for Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is only recommended after the ears have fully developed, which is generally around 4-5 years of age. Although most patients who seek out Otoplasty are between ages 5-14, the procedure can certainly be performed later in adulthood.
2. Is Otoplasty painful?
Pain from otoplasty is generally limited and well-tolerated. Most patients only use prescribed pain medication for the first few days and then transition to over-the-counter therapies. Pain is usually most prominent after 3-5 days, when swelling and inflammation peaks. A soft diet, head of bed elevation, sleeping on your back and avoidance of resting on the operated ears generally help minimize pain.
3. Are Otoplasty results permanent?
A properly performed Otoplasty procedure will result in long-lasting results without the need for any touch-up or revision with age as permanent suture fixation is used to accomplish the desired changes.