The Otoplasty Surgery
The Otoplasty surgery is performed as an outpatient
procedure under general anesthesia in our medicare-accredited, state-of-the-art
Coast Surgical Center. The
operation takes approximately 2 hours to perform. The patient is monitored by an
anesthesiologist throughout the procedure.
The operation begins with an incision in the back of the ear
as shown below. A crescent of loose skin
in the back of the ear is excised.
The skin of the ear is dissected off the cartilage. Stitches are then used to fold the cartilage
onto itself to recreate the normal anatomic creases of the ear. Stitches are also used to pull the ear
cartilage against the scalp to pin it back.
The skin incision is then closed with stitches. A head band is used to compress the ear
against the scalp during the healing process.
The Recovery From
Recovery from Otoplasty is remarkably less painful than one
might expect. A
fluffy gauze pressure dressing is removed after the first day and replaced by
an elastic Velcro strap. You may shower
after the first day. After one week of wearing the elastic wrap continuously, a
sweat band should be worn at night only to protect the ears for the next 6
weeks. Normal non-strenuous activity may be resumed two days after surgery. The
patient should refrain from sleeping on their side for 4 weeks. Routine
exercise may begin at the end of the fourth post-operative week. Contact sports
may be restarted at the end of the sixth post-operative week.
It is normal for the ears to feel numb for 2 to 3 months after the operation.
The sensation returns slowly over that time. There is generally no pain in the
post-operative period, just minor discomfort. The swelling lasts for about 3
months. It will take about two months
before you begin to see the normal anatomic details of the ear created by the
bending of the cartilage.
You will be prescribed medication for pain and nausea.
You will also be given antibiotics to prevent
infection. Most patients can return to
work by one week after surgery. By 3
months after surgery, most patients are highly satisfied with their
results. Doctor Doan and his staff will
guide you through the entire recovery period to make sure that it is as smooth
If you are a healthy candidate with no pre-existing
disorders or diseases which may inhibit healing, the general risks for Otoplasty
surgery are very low. However, since it is indeed surgery, there are inherent
risks you must consider before choosing to undergo a procedure such as this. Potential complications associated with Otoplasty
surgery may include the following:
Bleeding: This is called a subchondral hematoma and would
need to be drained with a needle to prevent damage to the cartilage in the
Infection: This is a rare complication which usually resolves
Asymmetry: On rare occasions, one ear my still protrude more than the other ear. This would require a revision procedure to pin the ear back further.
Keloid Scars: The
scar on the back of the ear may thicken, darken, or become raised. This can be treated with steroid
injection to help soften, flatten, and lighten the scar.
years to decades, the tissues behind the ear may stretch and cause it to
become more protuberant. This may
eventually require a revision procedure.