OTOPLASTY – WHAT IS IT ?
Otoplasty is cosmetic and reconstructive surgery designed to correct a variety of ear anomalies and improve their overall appearance.
There are a number of causes that can lead to an over-protrusion of the ears: the way the cartilage has grown on the skull; abnormally shaped and folded antihelixes; the size and shape of the ear concha.
→ These days, ostoplasty takes into account a wide range of factors and causes, aiming to correct and reconstruct the overall appearance of the ears (especially in the case of prominent ears).
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN OTOPLASTY PROCEDURE?
Different types of anaesthesia can be used: local, intravenous local and a classic general.
In most cases, this is considered an outpatient procedure – the patient goes into hospital in the morning and leaves the same day. However, this will depend on each individual case: there may be situations when an overnight stay is deemed necessary.
Incisions are normally made in the retroauricular sulcus (the natural fold behind the ear) or on the front of the auricular where incisions can be hidden within the natural folds. There is no need to cut the patients hair for this operation.
The skin is then lifted up to access the cartilage – this is then carefully restructured using tiny folds that are then held in place by deep but fine sutures. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove a section of the cartilage. Sutures are usually self-dissolving but should classic sutures be used, these will need to be removed after about 10 days.
A bandage is placed around the head to support the ears and maintain them in their adjusted position. Depending on the correction(s) to be made and the surgeon’s decision, an otoplasty procedure can last from between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
The bandage is normally removed after a week, after which a protective support headband will need to be worn at night for one month. Any contact sport should be avoided during this time.
Final results are visible around 6 months after the operation.