Are your ears the first thing someone notices about you? Were you ever teased as a child because you had large, protruding ears? If so, you may wish to consider a type of ear plastic surgery called an otoplasty at Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, IN, Shelbyville, IN, Danville, IL, Healdsburg, CA, and Ukiah, CA.
What Is an Otoplasty?
For those who are not pleased with the size or shape of their ears, this surgery is a good, practical solution. This is a common type of ear plastic surgery that reshapes the cartilage of the ears in order to improve their general appearance. The diversity of ear surgeries available means it’s a perfect solution to treat an extensive array of conditions related to the ears. Typically, the procedure takes around two hours.
What Are Some Common Reasons to Consider an Otoplasty?
There are several reasons that someone may wish to consider ear plastic surgery. By carefully examining each of these reasons, you will be able to determine how you can benefit from an otoplasty.
To Eliminate Protruding Ears
Do your ears stick out from the side of your head? If your ears stick out more than two centimeters, then they are considered “protruding.” Many people who have protruding ears may be self-conscious about them, and an ear plastic surgery is a great way to make your ears appear more natural.
To Transform the Appearance of Your Face
Typically, the first thing people notice about someone’s face may be the eyes or the smile. However, if you have protruding ears, these soon become the dominant feature of your face. An otoplasty can keep your ears from being the first thing people notice about you, and as a result, it can change the general overall appearance of your face because your ears are no longer the center of attention.
To Repair Damage From an Accident or Injury
If you’ve been involved in an accident that severely damaged your ears, plastic surgery is a useful tool to help restore the ears to their natural shape and contour.
To Correct Birth Defects of the Ear
Some will seek ear surgery as a treatment for misshapen ears related to developmental birth defects. Examples of ear birth defects include “microtia,” which is a partially formed exterior ear, and “anotia,” which is a completely undeveloped ear.
To Treat Split Earlobes
Sometimes, as you age, earlobes can sag or even split. Ear plastic surgery can tighten them and improve their appearance.
To Correct “Lop Ear”
This condition occurs when the top of the ears folds down and tilts forward. While this condition does not affect hearing, it can be very embarrassing for those who have it. Ear plastic surgery is a simple and effective solution.
To Enhance Self Esteem
If you were ever teased for the size or shape of your ears, then you understand how damaging this can be to your emotional development. Many who have had ear plastic surgery report a renewed sense of confidence and better self-esteem as the result of this procedure. It also helps many take pride in their appearance without worrying about how they are going to minimize the appearance of their ears.
For What Reasons Would Children Need an Otoplasty?
Yes, children can be candidates for ear plastic surgery, too. Typically, this surgery is not performed on children until the outer ear has fully matured, which typically occurs around the ages of five or six. Once it has stopped growing, it can be evaluated and considered for treatment. There are several reasons why parents would consider ear plastic surgery for their children.
To Prevent Teasing or Bullying
For many parents, it’s heartbreaking to see their children bullied or teased for the shape of their ears. These elementary school years are important ones for emotional development, and parents see ear surgery as an opportunity to correct a problem and restore their child’s self-esteem.
To Build Confidence
When children are no longer self-conscious about their ears, they develop confidence that can help them excel in their studies and in other activities.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ear Surgery?
Typically, anyone who is in good health without a life-threatening disease is a good candidate for ear surgery. It’s preferable that candidates should be non-smokers because smoking can affect the rate of healing.
Most importantly, it’s vital for candidates to discuss their goals and expectations for the procedure. Open, honest communication between patients and all members of the health care team is extremely vital in order to achieve the desired results. Candidates should have realistic expectations and speak with the doctor about what they want from the results of the procedure.
Which Children Are Candidates for Ear Surgery?
As mentioned earlier, most children’s ears are not fully developed until age 5 or 6. Therefore, most candidates will be at least that age before being considered for surgery. In general, a child should be reasonably healthy, not have any life-threatening illnesses, and be able to follow instructions to the best of his or her ability.
In addition, if the child has chronic ear infections, it’s important that these are being treated consistently and effectively. The procedure does require one to two weeks of recovery, so it may be best to have the procedure during spring break or during a time when school is not in session.
Does This Ear Surgery Affect Hearing?
This surgery is to correct the shape and appearance of the ears, and it does not have any effect upon hearing.
What Happens During Ear Surgery?
This procedure can be conveniently performed in our office on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia is used for your comfort. This means that the area where the surgery is performed will be numbed so you won’t feel anything.
An incision is made either within in the inner creases of the ears or on the back of the ears where it will be “hidden” from view. After the incision is made, excess cartilage and skin can be removed or folded into the desired position. It’s then secured with internal stitches and the incision is carefully and meticulously closed.
What to Expect After Ear Surgery
It’s very important to take time to recover and heal after ear surgery. While recovery times vary, it typically takes one to two weeks.
You’ll have bandages that will need to be worn after the surgery, and it’s very important to be sure that your ears are not pinched or tugged in any way. It’s crucial to avoid rubbing or putting additional force on the ears.
After the surgery, you’ll need to wear a loose headband at night that covers your ears. This prevents your ears from being pulled or tugged upon during your sleep. You’ll need to wear this headband for two to six weeks.
When Will the Stitches Be Removed?
This depends upon what type of stitches were used during your procedure. Sometimes, the stitches will be removed in the weeks following the procedure, while in other cases, the stitches are the type that dissolve on their own. We’ll discuss the details with you when you’re scheduled for your consultation.
Useful Recovery Tips
It’s important to follow instructions to the letter in order to have a speedy, effective recovery from ear surgery. Here are some tips that will help you:
Avoid Touching Your Ears
While you’ve just had surgery, it’s important to realize that you can’t excessively rub your ears—and this can be difficult because it’s easy to do it by accident, especially for the first week after surgery.
Wear Your Headband Faithfully
The headband replaces the bulky bandages that you had on your ears immediately after the surgery. However, it’s vital that you follow all instructions on wearing your headband. This is a safeguard to protect your ears while you sleep and to protect them in case they are accidently bumped.
If you are a smoker, try to avoid smoking during your recovery. Even secondhand smoke can delay your healing, so try to avoid any type of cigarette smoke during your recovery. Typically, before surgery, you’ll be urged to stop smoking in order for your body to prepare itself for the procedure.
Don’t Scratch Your Incision Lines
As they heal, these may feel a bit itchy. That’s okay. The itching means that healing is taking place and that things are progressing as they should. However, try to avoid scratching at the incisions or anywhere along the incision line.
Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure
Because your ears have been numb, they may not feel any discomfort or damage that can be caused by extreme temperature. Therefore, be very careful when using ice packs or being exposed to sunlight. Remember that it’s not a good idea to use hairdryers, as these can cause burns if you’re not careful.
Avoid Contact Sports
It’s important to avoid vigorous, extensive activity until your ears are healed completely. This can be very challenging for children, particularly if they have had this surgery during the school year, when they may be tempted to roughhouse or play sports on the playground.
Is Ear Surgery Right for You?
Ear surgery produces almost immediate results, and most adults and children are thrilled with what they see.
Not sure if ear surgery is right for you? If you are considering ear surgery, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I pleased with the shape of my ears?
- Do my ears protrude from my head?
- Do my ears look too large for my head?
- Do I try to cover up or conceal the look of my ears?
If you are a parent and you’re considering the procedure for your child, you should ask yourself:
- Do my child’s ears protrude too far from the head?
- Are his or her ears enlarged?
- Is my child being teased constantly for the size and shape of his or her ears?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider ear plastic surgery.
Will Health Insurance Pay for Ear Surgery?
It often depends upon the underlying purpose of the procedure. If ear surgery is done solely for cosmetic purposes, then health insurance will not cover it. However, in some cases insurance may cover ear surgery for treatment from an accident, injury, or birth defect.
Because there are wide variations in insurance policies, you should speak with your insurance representative for more information.
Convenient, Effective Ear Surgery Is Available
Are you concerned that your son or daughter is being teased at school because of the look of their ears? Are you tired of your ears being the first thing that others notice about you? Perhaps you or your child can benefit from an otoplasty. Schedule an appointment for ear surgery with Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, IN, Shelbyville, IN, Danville, IL, Healdsburg, CA, and Ukiah, CA today.