Otoplasty, or ear correction surgery, is a procedure most commonly performed on children between the ages of four and fourteen who want to reduce the size of their ears or set their ears back closer to their head. Ears that protrude too far or appear very large proportionally to the rest of the face may cause children to be bullied and lower their sense of self-worth. Otoplasty can offer both children and adults a newfound sense of confidence, as it is typically performed for cosmetic purposes.
Mr Ritz has performed many successful otoplasty procedures, and as it is a very safe surgery, recommends it to parents whose children may be suffering from the ridicule of their peers. Oftentimes it is worth opting for a procedure merely because it can give a child relief to know he or she does not have to confront bullying for his or her looks.
During the initial consultation, you and your child (unless the patient is an adult) will meet with Mr Ritz to discuss the surgery in depth. He will be able to answer any of your questions and assist you in making your final decision. You will learn about the full details of the procedure, recovery time and any risks that may be associated with the surgery, no matter how minor or rare. Mr Ritz will measure the patient’s ears and explain what otoplasty will do, ensuring your expectations are realistic and that he is completely transparent with you.
If you opt for otoplasty and schedule your surgery, you will have an additional consultation two weeks prior to ensure you have all of the information you need, have all of your questions answered and know the logistics of the surgery day.
During the Surgery
You will arrive to the hospital 1-2 hours prior. Anaesthesia will be administered, and the patient will be taken to the operating room for the procedure.
The surgery is performed by making a small incision in the back of the ear. This provides access to the cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape or angle. In other procedures, the cartilage is folded back to reshape the ear, excess skin is removed, and stitches are used to hold the new shape in place. The incision behind the ear leaves only slight scarring, which will be hidden from sight because of its placement.
Otoplasty is a very simple procedure and is usually performed as day surgery but you may need to stay overnight. The patient will be sent home with a parent or guardian (or an adult patient with a friend or family member) to ensure safety while the anaesthetic wears off.
Patients are required to wear a bandage around their head for 7 days, then after that at night for 6 weeks. Otoplasty recovery is very easy as long as you follow care instructions meticulously. Mr Ritz will give you specifics on how to care for your wound and what to do if you experience any complications. You will also schedule follow-up appointments to assess your healing progress and adjust instructions accordingly. It is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity as the wound heals to avoid excess bleeding and to focus your body completely on healing. Benefits of Otoplasty The benefits of otoplasty are typically more mental than physical. This surgery in particular helps people of all ages overcome a physical condition that cannot be fixed through other means than surgery and may cause mental turmoil for something out of one’s hands. The benefits our patients have seen from ear correction surgery include:
- Improved sense of self-esteem: Patients who suffer from large or protruding ears, especially children, can be subject to brutal bullying that can affect how they see themselves during influential and formative years. Otoplasty can appease the bullies, or even help children avoid that trauma if treated early enough. This surgery can make all the difference in a child’s confidence growing up.
- Treatment of ear conditions: Physical deformities of the ears, including folding, cupping, cauliflower ear or disproportionate cartilage are all treated exclusively with otoplasty. It is a safe procedure to perform and comes with little risk to the patient, making it that much easier a decision to make.
- Greater facial symmetry and proportion: Facial symmetry is greatly affected by the ears, so solving any issues of disproportion or asymmetry in the frames of the face may help you feel more confident in your appearance and pleased with the way you look.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about ear correction surgery, please call us today to schedule your consultation with Mr Ritz at our Malvern office: 03 9508 9503.