Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) Overview
Ear reshaping surgery, clinically called otoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure aimed at improving the size, shape, or protrusion of the ears to harmonize them with rest of the facial features. The procedure may be performed by a plastic surgeon for patients who are unhappy with the poor shape or structure of the ears that may have been congenital or occurred later as a result of some traumatic injury.
Otoplasty plastic surgery can enhance the balance and proportion of the face by creating a natural shape of ears. A minor change in the shape of ears can have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the face. Dr. Bryson Richards is an experienced plastic surgeon providing otoplasty and other procedures to patients in and around Las Vegas, NV.
Who is a Suitable Candidate?
Cosmetic surgery of the ears can correct the appearance of excessive large ears, or flapping ears on one or both sides of the face. Otoplasty plastic surgery is suitable for children with poorly shaped ears, as long as the following conditions are met:
- The child is in outstanding general health, and does not suffer from an untreated ear infection.
- The age of the child is at least five years, and the ear cartilage has attained stability.
- The child is able to cooperate and follow the advice of the cosmetic surgeon.
Many teenagers and adults also undergo otoplasty. The ideal patient will be a non-smoker or prepared to stop smoking many weeks before and after the procedure. Experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Bryson Richards receives patients from Las Vegas, NV and surrounding communities for otoplasty.
Depending on the circumstances of a case, the surgeon may choose to perform otoplasty under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation with local anesthesia. If the ears are protruding conspicuously, a technique to build or enhance the anti-helical fold that exists within the rim of the ear will be used. The enlarged conchal cavity, which is the deepest concavity of the external ear, may be reduced at the same time.
The surgeon will try to keep the incisions on the back side of the ear to keep the scars invisible. In case an incision is required on the front side, it will be made within the ear folds to keep it discreet. Internal, non-removable sutures will be used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage firmly in place.
On completion of the procedure, the surgeon will close the incisions with external sutures. Harmony with other facial features will be maintained in the procedure, and the surgeon will ensure that an unnatural looking ‘pinned back’ appearance of the ears is avoided.
Recovery in case of otoplasty can take about a week to 10 days. Most patients will experience some pain and discomfort in the first week, which can be managed with pain relieving medication. Bandages in the treated area should be maintained in place as per the surgeon’s post-op instructions until full healing.