What Ear Surgery is Right for Me?
When thinking of plastic surgery, few people consider alterations to ears to be among the procedures such surgeons do. But cosmetic ear surgery is a frequently performed one, and these surgeries can both enhance appearance and improve hearing. Read on to learn more about ear augmentation, and which option may be right for you.
Plastic Surgery And Ears
It’s easy to take our ears for granted. Everyone understands their importance in hearing, of course. But the physical ears themselves? For many people, they’re these fleshy things on either side of the head, so uniform in appearance that they’re easy to forget. But for millions of others, their ears are hard to ignore and not for positive reasons.
The ears may be out of proportion to the head. They may look too small or too large. They may appear to be too prominent, leading to the notorious “bat ear” look. Although these conditions usually don’t have a direct effect on hearing, their appearance can result in bullying and low self esteem. Ears grow throughout our lifetimes, especially the lobes. Sometimes this growth can be abnormal, leading to an unattractive appearance and discomfort. And ear lobes are not an especially sturdy part of the ear. They can easily be torn in accidents or simply by wearing jewelry. If these tears aren’t corrected, the entire lone can be lost.
Plastic surgeons can also assist with auricular reconstruction, usually in rebuilding outer ears that are absent or too small, usually caused by abnormalities formed before birth. The restoration of the outer ear (pinna) has a trumpet effect and can enhance and improve hearing. And hygiene for cosmetically corrected ears can improve as well.
Things To Know When Considering Ear Surgery
Cosmetic ear surgery is known as otoplasty, and potential patients should seek a surgeon who is board certified in this. Surgery prices and outcomes depend on region and surgeon experience. Because their ear cartilage is still so pliable, young children often have good outcomes with this type of surgery. Teenagers and adults can also do well with otoplasty, provided that they:
- are non smokers
- have no serious illness or medical condition
- have a good attitude
It’s important that a potential patient trusts a surgeon and is assured that all of their questions and concerns are addressed before undergoing otoplasty. Among the topics that should be discussed pre surgery are:
In addition to being prepared for some bruising, swelling, and discomfort post surgery, patients should be ready for follow up care and even additional surgeries. Patients should also be aware that it can take weeks for healing ears to reach their desired post surgery appearance.
Plastic surgery offers improvement rather than perfection, and results can vary widely. An individual’s plastic surgery experience is often much improved by meeting with a surgeon beforehand and discussing desired goals in having this surgery.
Ear Surgery Options
All cosmetic ear surgeries have the same ultimate goal. The objective is to give ears a more natural appearance, and providing better proportion to the ears and face. But because there are various ear abnormalities, different techniques must be applied in making corrections.
An incision is made behind the ear and skin and occasionally some cartilage is removed. Remaining cartilage is bent into the desired position and held in place with dissolving sutures. A “turban” bandage is usually applied right after surgery, and a “headband” bandage may be used for up to a month to keep things in place. This is generally a one time surgery. Complications can include infections, so it’s important not to touch or scratch the healing areas. Full recovery often takes several months.
Over Or Undersized Ears
Too large ears (a condition called microtia) is often treated with techniques similar to those used in treating prominent ears. With microtia, ear cartilage is often removed or folded over. Absent or too small ears (microtia) are corrected by creating outer ears with cartilage (usually from the rib cage area) or plastic. Because middle ears and ear canals often become disconnected in microtia, plastic surgeons often team with otocologists to restore full ear function.
Caused usually by a blunt force trauma to the ear, this deformity can be corrected by the surgical application of an incision and pressure bandages. The more quickly such a condition is addressed, the better the outcome.
Please surgeons can remove fatty tissue, suture tears, and inject collagen into too large lobe holes caused by heavy jewelry or “gauging”. It’s often possible to re pierce ears the same day as lobe repair!
For Plastic Surgery For The Ear
For ear work and other cosmetic procedures, many southern Floridians turn to Dr. Andres Bustillo, MD FACS. Board certified and award winning, Dr. Bustillo has been practicing in the Miami area for more than a decade. Learn more about his practice at: https://www.drbustillo.com/.