Otoplasty is a type of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery done on the outer ears. This is a type of surgery that focuses on reshaping the ears. It is quite common for protruding ears to run in family genes and some people develop large ears for no reason at all. Otoplasty has nothing to do with hearing impairment.
Why It Is Performed
Otoplasty is often performed for cosmetic purposes. Many people do not like having large, protruding ears and this surgery can quickly remedy this issue. It is often conducted on children but some adults get the surgery as well.
However, otoplasty is also done for reconstructive purposes. People who were severely injured may have lost ear tissue. This is common with people who were lacerated or bitten in a fist fight or by a dog. Otoplasty is a means of restoring the ears to how they originally looked before they were damaged.
Risks of Otoplasty
Just like in every surgery it is experience a level of risks. One such risk factor is infection of the ear’s skin and cartilage. This is actually quite rare and when it does occur it can be treated with antibiotics. After some observation the infection might go away. If it doesn’t then further surgery may be required.
Bleeding is another risk. Blood clots or hematoma may form right under the skin of the ear. This needs to be treated immediately and will require the removal of the bandages.
Recurrence is when the ears start popping back out. Revision surgery will be needed. However, one of the most common issues is overcorrection – this is when the ears have been positioned too closely to the head. This might be partnered with unshapely corrections that led to irregular ear shapes and angles. Another revision surgery will be conducted to fix these issues.
Lastly, there is also a risk of suture complications. Removing the sutures can be difficult, depending on the material used. Some sutures may also cause infections.
Expectations and Results
Patients and doctors need to have realistic goals in order to expect realistic results. Many times a patient requests otoplasty results that are simply not possible and end up with a physique that is undesirable.
Children undergoing otoplasty are given general anesthesia and this will put them to sleep. Adults are more likely to be given a sedative along with a local anesthesia. The surgery is often done in just a few hours and adults may leave the facility on the very same day. Children might have to stay one night for observations.
The bandages will have to be worn for several days before requiring replacement. At the most, patients are required to wear bandages for at least three weeks. The doctor will advise how to sleep and move with the bandages on and when they are to be removed.
For details of the ENT services, diagnosis, and treatment, please consult HK ENT specialist.
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