Otoplasty can correct prominent ears as well as any other malformations that may be associated with them. It aims to provide a definitive, symmetrical and natural pinning back of the ears.
Indications : Prominent ears
Ear surgery can correct:
- Defects in the ear auricle causing a lack of contour as the ear does not bend in enough on itself
- An enlarged concha that accentuates the distance between the ear and the head
- The absence of an angle between the ear and skull that gives the impression it is detached
Otoplasty is one of the few cosmetic procedures that can be performed on children as young as seven years old but is still very common in adults. It is performed most frequently on both ears at the same time but it can also be done on only one ear.
How the procedure works
Otoplasty can be performed under local or general anaesthetic as an outpatient and lasts a maximum of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It can be performed on both ears or sometimes on a single ear, in cases of asymmetry.
As there are numerous techniques, what is important is to obtain a final natural looking appearance, with the exception of some deformations or folds that we will still be able to see from time to time. It is also necessary to carry out the procedure in order to avoid any recurrence or reconstitution of the initial deformation or the emergence of any new deformation.
The choice of anaesthetic will be decided after a discussion between the patient, the surgeon and the anaesthesiologist.
- Local anaesthetic: An anaesthetic is injected locally to ensure the ears are numb
- Intravenous sedation anaesthesia: These relaxing products help the patient to feel comfortable during ear surgery. It is supplemented by a local anaesthetic
- General anaesthetic: The patient can sleep through the whole procedure
The surgeon makes an incision in the natural fold behind the ear.
The skin is then peeled back to access the cartilage. It is then reshaped, either by weakening it with a small curved rasp that conforms to the shape of the ears (the Stenström technique), or by placing non-absorbable stitches (the Mustardé and Furnas technique), or by using a combination of these two techniques.
Depending on the procedure to be carried out, the surgeon will:
- Reshape the cartilage to reshape the normal contours or remove some of the overdeveloped cartilage.
- Carry out the plication of the upper part of the ear (the anthelix) and remove the hollow part of the ear (the conch).
- Remove the strip of excess skin to avoid creating a ridge. The incision is then sewn up using an absorbable suture.
At the end of the procedure, the surgeon puts a dressing on it.
Aftercare of the procedure
The procedure is not usually painful. The first dressing can be removed after one to two days The ears are then kept covered over by a headband which is to be worn day and night for one to two weeks. The ears will be swollen and bruised for two to three weeks.
It is usual for the ears to remain numb for several weeks, which means that they need to be kept protected from cold and heat. It is recommended to avoid playing sports for one to two months.
Results: Ear reshaping
Otoplasty reshapes the natural folds of the ear, repositions the auricle against the skull and corrects the shape
Results before after Otoplasty
Results are visible the day after surgery but are conclusive after three to six months. A spot of retouching is sometimes necessary in case of small imperfections such as:
- A slight asymmetry that may still be visible or persist in the positioning of the auricle and in the folds and contours of the cartilage
- Some stitches may still be noticeable and the scars, which are pink at first, may not change color as expected
These small blemishes are inconspicuous nonetheless and do not attract the attention.
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