Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. For the most part, this type of ear plastic surgery is done on children between the ages of 4 and 14. The earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure.
However, there are mild to moderate cases of adults with features typically leading to childhood ear reduction surgery who have managed getting through school years without being teased, and are now presenting at a much later age requesting the otoplasty procedure. Hairstyle trends also have a lot to do with choosing to go through with otoplasty surgery in adulthood. Shorter haircuts tend to accentuate the ears. There are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
Well respected plastic surgeon, Dr Tavakoli, has performed many operations in his practice in Sydney otoplasty being one. In his experience with Sydney ear surgery Dr Tavakoli recommends that parents stay alert to their child's feelings about protruding ears; don't insist on the surgery until the child wants the change. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the ear surgery are generally more cooperative during the process and happier with the outcome of the otoplasty.
In the initial meeting about the ear surgery, Dr Tavakoli will evaluate your child's condition, or yours, if you are considering ear reduction surgery for yourself, and recommend the most effective otoplasty technique.
Generally there are 2 main Otoplasty techniques:
1.Both methods entail putting the scar behind the ear in the groove next to the scalp.
2.Traditional Chongchet method with radical reshaping of the cartilage through an open ear surgery technique
3.The more refined Mustarde technique where the reshaping is done less aggressively but instead permanent sutures are used to hold the ear shape in place. This is Dr Tavakoli's preferred method because of its lower rate of complications during post-op otoplasty recovery.
4.Conchal fossa (bowl)ear reduction surgery needs to be performed almost invariably with either technique depending on the degree of deformity. This is also done through the posterior incision. In some cases the cartilage reduction can lead to excess skin formation inside the front part of the ear. If this is noticeable, Dr Tavakoli's preference is to trim the anterior skin excess leaving a tiny scar.Postoperatively, bruising and swelling is very common with this approach to ear reduction surgery. Antibiotics will be given in order to prevent infections during otoplasty recovery.
Activities allowed during otoplasty recovery period:
1.Driving within days,
2.Walking can commence within days,
3.Light jogging within 2 weeks,
4.Gym and Pilates after 4 weeks and upper body weights 6 weeks.
Surgical risks may include: infection, bleeding, asymmetry and scarring. Relapse of ear shape occasionally can be problematic requiring secondary procedure.