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Ear is an anatomical structure that is developing in early age of life, until 6 to 7 years of age. A defect in the ear structure in a form of unpleasant shape, position or proportion, can be already present at birth or can become apparent with development. Misshapen ears can be also result of the injury, or previous ear surgery.
Otoplasty is a facial plastic procedure that creates a more natural shape of the ear while bringing balance and proportion to the entire face.
Interestingly, correction of even minor ear deformities can have profound beneﬁts to appearance and self-esteem of the individual.
- More natural shape will bringing balance to entire face
- Even minor correction can have profound beneﬁts to appearance and self-esteem
- Can be performed in local anesthesia
- Long lasting result
Otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. This defect of the ear structure can be present at birth or be caused by injury.
Good candidates are patients with:
- Overly large ears – macrotia
- Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees
- Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery
Not good candidates are patients with:
- Child of less then 5 years of age
- Child's ear cartilage is not stable enough for correction
WHAT RESULTS TO EXPECT?
During your consultation for otoplasty, the surgeon will assess anatomy of your ear. It is important to correctly diagnose the leading cause of anatomical defect:
- overgrowth of cavum concha
- misshape of the antihelix
- displacement of lobules
This is important in order to be able to make proper surgical plan. All this will be discussed with you in details.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR TREATMENT?
Otoplasty is usually done under local anesthesia. However, we also
perform it in general anesthesia in case when child is younger or less
cooperative. In any case you will be
instructed to take certain steps:
- Laboratory testing – blood work, EKG, etc., which can be done in laboratory
of your choosing or in our OR center
- Medical evaluation by anesthesiologist in our OR center
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Your surgeon will ask you about your past medical history, including medications you are taking, allergies, smoking habits, previous surgery and more.
In any case, to make surgery result better you need to stop smoking, both preoperatively and postoperatively for at least 2 weeks. Also, you have to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin sodium and other supplements as they can increase bleeding and bruising. Prior to surgery all patients should start with vitamin supplementation and homeopathic therapies to enhance healing after surgery.
It's important to understand all aspects of your ear surgery. It's natural to be nervous about it, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
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As a first step, medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices includes local, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you during consulation.
Incisions for otoplasty are made on the back surface of the ear, making them completely invisible. We like to tailor LF otoplasty based on each patient case - depending on the anatomical cause and degree of deformity.
Correction of protruding ears uses surgical techniques to create or increase the antihelical fold (just inside the rim of the ear) and to reduce enlarged conchal cartilage (the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear).
Special type of techniques are used to correct misshaped lobules, which is often under-diagnosed and mistreated.
Internal, nonremovable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place. We will close the incision with external stitches.
The whole procedure takes around 2h with preparation. Shortly after the treatment you are able to go your home.
Time to heal
You will need to wear a bandage around your ears for first 24 h. During the following day, you will come for a check up, where we will ensure that everything is looking perfect and healing properly. At that time, the bandages will be removed and some minimal bruising and swelling will be seen. You will be given an ear band to wear for the next seven days.
Pain medication may be prescribed to help the patient to feel more comfortable during the healing process. It is important to get plenty of rest during the recovery. Skin sutures will be taken off 8- 10 days post op. The ear band needs to be wear for the next 14 days while you sleep.
In general, patients should be able to return to work within one to two weeks following their procedure. There will still be some swelling but nothing that should prevent patients from returning to work and most normal activities. Sports and other physical activates can be performed in 3 weeks following surgery.
Ear surgery offers near immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible once the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed.
With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well hidden within the natural creases of the ear.
LF otoplasty is individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural "pinned back" appearance.
The most common side
effect of the surgery is bruising, which subsides in few days. Numbness of the ear is the second most common
complication which will disappear in a few months. Other potential risks and
complications of the surgery are extremely rare, especially in the hands of a
qualified surgeon, but include:
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Skin contour irregularities
- Skin discoloration/swelling
- Anesthesia risks
- Unfavorable scarring
- Pain, which may persist
- Possibility of revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
They will take care of you
MEET THE TEAM
PETER JFM LOHUIS, MD PHD
BORIS FILIPOVIĆ, MD PHD
BOŽO GORJANC, MD
SANJA ŠKOPAC, BEAUTICIAN
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
· Recovery period after otoplasty is usually up to 14 days and you may start doing your daily routines as soon as the following day.
· However, it may take up to 3 months for the ear to feel "back to normal" in terms of texture, sensibility and loss of tightness.
· When complication happens, two things are important – to immediately identify the complication, and to prompt treatment.
· Depending on the type of the complication the treatment will defer from secondary surgery, to topical lubricants and massages, to just reassurance.
· It is important that you trust your surgeon to make the decision about what is best for you in that situation.
· The results of your otoplasty are immediately visible.
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