Otoplasty or ear surgery
The surgery of the ears technically called auriculoplasty, is intended to place the prominent ears in a position closer to the head or to reduce the size of the ears. Age is not a contraindication. This surgery is normally performed after seven years and without age limit, since for that age the ears are almost the adult size, and coinciding with the admission to school, where they will possibly be a source of ridicule that can influence the social life of the patient. The lobes that present a cut due to the use of rings, as well as the excessively large lobes, or with large wrinkles, can also be treated.
The best candidates
The best candidates for this surgery, are people over seven years and without age limit, who have any abnormality in their ears, either in their shape, size, or the separation of them with the head, physically healthy , psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations. When it is the children (and not their parents) who is feeling dissatisfied with their ears and want surgery, they tend to have a more comfortable postoperative period and be much happier with the result.
Planning your surgery
During the initial consultation, we will ask you how you would like your ears to look and evaluate both your ears and the rest of the structure of your face and we will explain the treatment possibilities to reach your goal. Be sure to let us know if you have had any previous auricular surgery or trauma to your ears, even if it was many years ago. It will also be a great contribution to know if you suffer from any type of allergy or hearing difficulty; if you are taking medications, vitamins or drugs; or if you smoke.
Getting ready for your surgery
We will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including certain suggestions about what you should eat and drink, about smoking, about what vitamins or medications you should take or avoid, and how to wash your face. Follow these instructions carefully, which will help your surgery to go unhindered and you will also have a more comfortable postoperative period. When making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to accompany you home after surgery and help you for a few days, if necessary.
Where will your surgery be done?
The surgery is performed in the clinic, which has all the necessary medical equipment and the greatest comfort for you. You should arrive about 30 minutes before the scheduled time, to make the entry procedures, make a complete medical history, and take preoperative photographs. In your room you can change clothes. After the surgery, he will stay in the clinic for two to four hours, until we make sure everything is in order and he can return to his home, where he will continue to rest.
Types of anesthesia
Otoplasty can be performed with local or general anesthesia. We prefer local anesthesia, accompanied by mild sedation, as it has many advantages with respect to general anesthesia, such as less bleeding, good cooperation on your part, rapid recovery and much less risk than general anesthesia. With this local anesthetic, you will be slightly sedated, numbing your ears and surrounding area, which will make you feel no pain; You will be awake during surgery, however you will be relaxed and insensitive to pain. However, in children, general anesthesia is usually used.
The surgery of the ears takes usually between one hour and a half and three hours, depending on the complexity. In a typical procedure, we will make a small incision in the back of the ear, and through it we will work, exposing the cartilage, which will be sculpted generating the ear to be positioned in a place closer to the head. On other occasions, you also have to perform techniques using sutures to generate a new groove in the anterior view of your ears (antihelix). Finally, the incision is closed with stitches that will be removed in approximately ten days, and a dressing with cotton or foam rubber is left in the ear to help maintain the new shape of the ears.
Both adults and children are up and doing light activities, a few hours after surgery. Your head will be bandaged like a turban, which will be removed after a few days by a headband, which should remain in the position we indicate for at least three to four weeks. You may have some discomfort for a few days, which will be totally controlled with the analgesic medication that we will give you. You must also take antibiotics for seven days. The points are removed after ten days. The scar will be hidden behind the ears and in a short time it will become a thin white line. You should avoid activities in which your ears may be hit by the lapse of four weeks or longer. Most adults return to work, usually two days after surgery, depending on the type of work to be performed. Children can return to school after seven days and should be very careful not to hit each other.
Getting back to normal
Both children and adults are in good condition a few hours after surgery. Your head will be bandaged when you leave the surgery to help the best modeling of your ears, as well as to ensure a correct healing. In a few days, the bandages will be replaced by a headband. The ears may feel upset or with some small pain for a few days, but this discomfort will be totally controlled by analgesic medication. You should also take antibiotics for 7 days. The stitches are usually removed within 10 days. The scar will be hidden in the back of your ears, and will quickly become a thin clear line. The activities in which the ears can be traumatized should be avoided for approximately 1 month. Most adults return to their jobs in about 2 days after surgery. Children can return to school after approximately 7 days, only if they are carefully monitored in physical activities. It is recommended to ask the teachers to take special care of the children in these activities for a few weeks.
Your new look
The result of the operation is immediately appreciated and the modifications, both in shape and size, as well as angle or curvature with respect to the face, are definitive, that is, the ear no longer returns to the previous position prior to the intervention.