Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) Houston

Protruding or bat ear have a profound psychological effect on the growing child. The correction of this deformity is called as otoplasty (ear correction) or pinning back of the ears. This is a procedure that is done once the growth of the ear cartilage is complete i.e. after the child is 6 years old. This condition is ideally treated before it causes psychological stress and trauma to the person.

Typically there are 3 main types of otoplasty:

Pinnaplasty: It is most common type which decreases the angulation of the ear and brings it closer to the head. It is a simple outpatient surgery where excess cartilage from prominent ears can be removed.

Ear augmentation: It used to treat small or absent ears. This is a reconstructive procedure using cartilage from other body parts for a more natural look.

Ear reduction: This procedure is used to reduce the size of huge ears and make them symmetrical.

Candidates

It is always advisable to get the ear correction surgery done in childhood (not before 6 years) because the cartilage is quite flexible in young age and thus allows easy and better reshaping. The child also benefits from psychological benefits, otherwise would have been teased by the peers. Adults who are conscious of the appearance of their shape and size of ears with realistic expectations also can undergo the surgery.

Before Ear Surgery

We will evaluate your medical history and will advise you with regards to cessation of smoking and medications containing aspirin. The ears will be examined, evaluated and photographed. It should be kept in mind that the two ears are never symmetrical and some difference in their shape is bound to stay. The angle between the ear and the head is calculated.

The areas that will be excised or reshaped are marked and digital photographs taken in order to document the amount of improvement after surgery.

Otoplasty Procedure

It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. An incision is made on the back of the ear in the crease and the cartilage is exposed. The cartilage is modified (excised or reshaped) depending on the preop plan. The angle between the ear and the head is reduced and permanent stitches are used to retain the ear in the new position. The incision is closed with stitches under the skin and a fluffy cotton dressing is done. Bandage is placed on the ear to help in healing. The procedure takes only a couple of hours.

Post-Operative Information

Patients should be careful not to sleep on the sides for about 3 weeks. The bandage should be retained for a couple of days after which a head band will have to be worn for about 4 weeks.Pain and bruising near the ear are expected but is controlled by medication. Normal activity can be started in 2-3 days. The ear should not be pulled or stretched till complete healing has taken place as relapses are possible due to the 'memory' of cartilage.

Aftercare

Wound Care

Incisions may be cleaned with dilute peroxide and coated with bactroban cream as needed.

Activity

Increase activity as tolerated with no heavy exercise for two weeks.

Special Instructions

After dressing is removed, wear a support band at least for three to six weeks. The more it can be worn the first week, the better.

Signs of Hematoma

Painful extreme hardness or bleeding often accompanied by bruising, usually unilateral causing asymmetry. Please call our office immediately and schedule an appointment to see us.

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