Prominent Ears can be a cosmetic concern for both the young and old. For the young, ears that stick out can be a source of ridicule and teasing. At older ages, it may prevent enjoying the option of short hairstyles. However, the problem can be addressed at almost any age.
How Young Is Too Young For Otoplasty?
There are two peaks in the age at which people present to have their ears fixed. The first peak is around the time that children go to school, when their parents have the means to intercede. The second, is in the 20’s, when we are financially able to take care of ourselves.
The youngest age that cosmetic Otoplasty is performed is age five. By five years of age, the ear is about 85% of its adult size. This makes Ear Pinning predictable. For children, Otoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. This provides the necessary level of cooperation, safety and relaxation.
Does Otoplasty Need To Be Performed Under Anesthesia?
For adults, Cosmetic Ear Surgery can be performed either under general anesthesia or with local anesthesia. For my patients who do not want to be awake, general anesthesia is the best option. You get some medicine through an IV, and the next thing you know, it’s all done. For patients who are less anxious, local anesthesia provides a lower cost with less fatigue and none of the occasional nausea seen in about 10% of patients.
How Is Otoplasty Performed
Ear Pinning is an outpatient procedure. The majority of the work is accomplished through an incision placed in the crease behind the ear. Thin, strong sutures are used to bend and hold the ear cartilage in its new, folded back position. As with most of plastic surgery, the goal is to achieve just enough reduction, but not too much. The amount of Ear Pinning can be modified by adjusting the placement of the sutures and by scoring the cartilage along the desired path of bending.
What Is The Recovery After Otoplasty?
Recovery is variable, but most patients are feeling normal in a few days. A head dressing is required during the first week to protect the repair, especially at night. After the head dressing is removed, the ears will be swollen, but look fairly normal. At night, a head band is worn to prevent inadvertent forward folding of the ears during sleep. Vaseline is usually all that is needed to keep the incision moist and to help it heal.
If you are considering Otoplasty, call (925) 943-6353 today, and schedule a personalized consultation appointment. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay city of Walnut Creek, CA. More information is also available on DrMele.com’s Otoplasty Page and in Spanish on Cirugia Plastic San Francisco’s Página de Cirugía de Oreja y Otoplastia.