External ear surgery solves problems related to unwanted position or inappropriate size or shape of ears. The most frequently performed otoplasty procedures include “ear pinning”, which may be done simultaneously with remodelling of the ear curvature or reducing of the size of the ear.
Who can undergo ear plastic surgery?
The defect usually gets more noticeable as the child grows and they may decide for the surgery later - it can be performed virtually any time. Surgical corrections of ears are possible even in later life however the best time to carry out otoplasty is in children aged 5 – 10, because the ears of children heal better.
What else can otoplasty solve?
Even disproportionate size of the external ear can be surgically corrected, either in a procedure performed on the whole ear or on its individual parts (e.g., large ear lobe), stretched ears or ears with prominent folds and wrinkles.
An experienced plastic surgeon can create new ears in patients born without them or in those who lost them due to an injury. In these cases, patient's own cartilage (e.g. from the rib) or anatomically shaped artificial implants are used. The surgery therefore solves not only congenital deformities but also post-traumatic ear defects.
What is necessary before ear surgery?
As in every plastic surgery, the procedure is highly individual and is preceded by a detailed consultation and examination of the patient, when the plastic surgeon selects the most appropriate method and procedure on the basis of the patient's physical condition and the particular anatomical situation.
How is ear plastic surgery performed?
The cause of protruding ears is an incorrect relative position of the inner and outer cartilages in the internal and external part of the ear. The ear surgery will adjust the angle between the cartilages (called scapha-conchal angle by experts) to align the central and peripheral cartilages in the sagittal view.
Otoplasty is performed under local anaesthesia, possibly in combination with intravenous anaesthesia, and it takes approximately 1 hour. The access is from the back of the ears to make the resulting scars as little visible as possible.
After ear plastic surgery
First days after the ear correction surgery, the patient is ordered bed rest. They should sleep only in the supine position. The pain in the ears persists for about 2 days after the surgery, mainly in adults. However, it gradually subsides and can be alleviated with standard analgesics.
For four weeks patients should exercise great caution and avoid physical activity. It is recommended that ears be fixed with bandage for the night because it is necessary to protect the ears from injury. In the winter months it is necessary to avoid the cold. In the summer it is not recommended to swim in public swimming pools or in ponds.
Nevertheless, recovery after otoplasty is very individual and depends on the healing abilities of each individual organism and on the extent of the surgery.