Many people are born with ears which protrude, which can cause people to be self-conscious and damage their self-esteem. Fortunately, there is a solution for ears that stick out too much. This is called otoplasty. This is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is done purely for aesthetic reasons.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty involves altering how much the ears protrude and aligns them closer to the head. This generally involves removing cartilage from behind the ears.
Can I have otoplasty?
To be considered a suitable candidate for otoplasty, you must be:
- 18 years or older
- In good physical and mental health
- Have a healthy BMI
- Be a non-smoker, or be able to stop smoking two weeks prior to surgery.
While this procedure is often considered for those under 18 years old, London Lipo Institute currently only offers it to those who are 18 years or older.
What happens during an otoplasty procedure?
Prior to the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic. You will be awake for the procedure, but you will not be able to feel any discomfort.
The surgeon will make an incision behind the ear. The surgeon will make sure the incision is made in the natural folds, to ensure the scar is minimally noticeable. The skin is lifted and the cartilage behind is exposed. The excess cartilage is then reshaped and pulled back toward the head. The skin is then pulled over the cartilage and sutured shut.
The procedure will take around three hours to complete.
What happens during the recovery period?
Following the otoplasty, you will be given a garment to wear. This will not only help to speed up the recovery time, but it will protect the sutures behind your ears and ensure the ears stay in the correct position. You will have to wear this garment for 5-7 days at all times. You are not allowed to get the garment wet, as this can cause problems such as infection.
To help with side effects such as swelling and bruising, you will have to undertake a few preventative measures, including keeping your head elevated, sleeping with multiple pillows, sleep on the back of your head and not the sides or stomach, and avoid bending over.
If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. You may also need to stop taking certain medications. Your surgeon will advise you of this during your consultation.
An otoplasty takes about three hours to complete.
You will be given a local anaesthetic prior to surgery, so you will feel no pain during the procedure. Afterwards, you may feel mild pain. You will be given medication which you can take if necessary.
Most patients can return to work after one day. However, you will be required to wear a garment around your head for 5 to 7 days. You can resume your normal day-to-day activities after two weeks.
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