Facial cosmetic surgery
Prominent ears / otoplasty
Cosmetic ear surgery aims to correct protruding ears and in rare cases may be done to reshape them
In children, the ears are a source of ridicule and humiliation that can lead to psychological and academic difficulties.
In adulthood, protruding ears can impede self-esteem and affect socio-professional development.
A simple and effective correction is possible from the age of 7 years. This otoplasty may relate to both ears, or one ear if there is asymmetry.
Principle of the procedure (ear contouring surgery)
Through an incision hidden behind the ear, the surgeon gives the ears an acceptable shape by folding them so they lay closer to the skull. Sometimes, more complex changes are made to the cartilage.
The procedure is performed under assisted local anesthesia (type analgesia) or under a short general anesthesia for the children’s comfort. The procedure lasts about 1 hour.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
The patient leaves the clinic wearing a helmet-shaped bandage which is removed between the 1st and the 6th day, exposing the scars to the air.
The stitches are dissolvable.
Wearing glasses is permitted after removal of the dressing. A band must be worn for 2 months (24 hours a day for 15 days, and then only at night).
Resuming intense contact sports (rugby, judo…) is permitted after 2 months.
After the procedure, the pain is relieved by appropriate analgesics. Edemas (swelling) of the ears along with ecchymosis (bruises) are temporary.
The definitive result is visible after 1 to 2 months.
Risk of complications
As with any surgery, a number of complications can occur. But the likelihood of these complications is reduced in the hands of a qualified plastic surgeon and in the presence of a competent anesthetist. The patient’s compliance to instructions given by the surgeon is also essential and include :
- stopping smoking 1 month before and after the procedure (reduction of all risks) ;
- not taking aspirin for 10 days before and after the procedure (reduced risk of hematoma).
Fortunately, postoperative effects are generally manageable following an otoplasty that has been carried out properly, so serious complications are rare.
In spite of the fact that complications are so rare you must be aware of the following problems :
- A hematoma : this must be rapidly drained.
- Infection : this is extremely rare when the procedure is carried out in sterile environment.
- Abnormal scars : in spite of all the care of the suturing, a ear scar, of any kind, can always become hypertrophic or even more "a cheloid scar".
In case of a complications, your surgeon will treat them successfully if necessary.
In practice, the vast majority of cases take place without any problem and the patients are satisfied with the result.
Health insurance coverage
In certain cases, partial coverage for the procedure is provided by health insurance.
Author: Dr. Christophe Laveaux
Specialist in aesthetic surgery - Antibes
Reproductions, even partial, of the texts are allowed on the express condition cite the author (Dr. Christophe Laveaux) with a direct link to the article mentioned.