When the ears are large, protruding (lop ears), or asymmetric, it can distract from the overall appearance of the face. For instance, In children, it can lead to embarrassment and getting ridiculed by other kids.
There are minimally invasive techniques available to reshape the ear using sutures buried under the skin. These stitches create permanent improvement in the shape and symmetry of prominent ears.
Benefits of Otoplasty
As a surgery to correct the ear, otoplasty comes with various benefits:
It is a safe procedure.
Otoplasty is ideal for both adults and kids. Therefore, it comes with extra-safe procedures. Adult patients mostly go for milder anesthesia, while children take a more cautious step for this procedure.
Improves the Appearance of the Ears
Otoplasty has become popular among patients looking for reconstructive surgeries that correct their overall facial features. It can treat various flaws such as folded ears, cupped ears, lop ears, asymmetric ears, etc.
Many people might feel insecure about how their ears look. Most often, kids can get bullied and teased at school for having different ear sizes or unnatural shapes, which are not controllable. Opting for otoplasty can help restore that self-confidence and improve the way ears look.
Best Candidates for Otoplasty Procedure?
An ideal candidate for otoplasty procedure is:
Over at least 5 years old and under 66 years old
The auricle reaches 90% of adult size by age 5, making a child an ideal otoplasty candidate. Of course, you need to wait till the auricle of the ear fully develops before taking your child for the procedure.
Similarly, adults under age 66 are good candidates due to overall health factors. So if an adult under 66 can maintain good health, they automatically fall under an ideal candidate status.
Maintain Health and Wellness
Healthy lungs and heart go a long way and can help you earn a candidature spot for otoplasty. These factors can help with anesthesia and speed up the recovery process.
Do Not Smoke
If you smoke, the best way to earn candidacy is to quit smoking and overall nicotine intake 6 weeks before your procedure. Smoking can slow down healing, render anesthesia useless, and is an overall health hazard.
Otoplasty surgery can take about 1 hour to a maximum of 3 hours, depending on the patient’s conditions. General anesthesia and sedation are fitting for the patients during this procedure.
At first, board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Swartout makes an incision from the back of the back surface of the ear or the ear front. He then goes on to work with the ear tissue, reshaping the cartilage or removing it to place it within a more normal ear range.
After this, Dr. Swartout uses permanent external stitches to close up the incisions and makes sure to create the desired appearance. The results are immediate after your otoplasty procedure.
Dr. Swartout hides the incision scars behind the ear or within the ear creases to ensure that they are not too visible after healing.
Risk and Side Effects
Just like any other surgery, otoplasty also comes with various benefits and certain risks.
- It overall improves how your ear looks
- Adds self-confidence in children who face bullies due to their irregular ear shapes and sizes
- Makes ears more proportional to your face
- The scars can be permanent but always hidden behind the ears
- Otoplasty can temporarily change ear sensation
To avoid further and more problematic side effects, always consult with Dr. Swartout about your health and requirements.
Recovery from an otoplasty procedure
Make sure to always follow the care and recovery instructions by Dr. Swartout after your ear surgery.
- Keep Away from Extreme Heat
Keep your head away from heat and wetness post-surgery. Since you need to wear bandages for your ear, keeping your head dry and cool can help quicken the recovery process. The heat from the sun or hairstyling products can ruin surgical improvements.
- Keep Your Head Up
Try to keep your head up to maintain your blood flow during the first few weeks post-surgery. It can help keep swelling, inflation, and redness at bay. You can use some extra pillows to stack under your head to keep it upright.
- Apply Prescribed Topical Ointments
If Dr. Swartout has prescribed any topical medications, use them over the incision areas. They can work on scars and wounds over the incisions when applied regularly. Always keep your fingers clean when applying to reduce the risks of infections.
- Do Not Rub Your Ears
Try to avoid touching your ears or wearing earphones or headbands when the dressing is still there. Touching your ears right after the surgery can make your ears feel more itchy, uncomfortable, and painful.
- No Hair Washing for the first week
Avoid shampooing your hair or using hair products for the first week of your recovery. These have chemicals that can have detrimental effects on your incisions. If they have not healed enough, the wounds can feel itchy and uncomfortable.
Otoplasty Surgery Cost
On average, otoplasty can cost between $3,000 to $9,000, depending on the type of procedure you need. Several other factors, such as pre-surgery tests, post-surgery medication, etc., add to the bill.
Fortunately, you can stay assured with Dr. Swartout’s professional otoplasty surgeries to make your complications vanish at the right price.
Some surgeons use the shaving technique when performing otoplasty and can get excellent results. However, I believe there is a risk of creating visible issues.
This is because the edges of the shaved or incised cartilage protrude into the ear skin. For this reason, I prefer to bend the cartilage with permanent sutures buried under the skin. I believe this technique can create a natural contour more safely.
The Otoplasty surgery can be done once the ears have reached full, adult size. This normally occurs by age 5 or 6. In other words, this procedure is usually performed on children
If you live near Beverly Hills, CA, Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgery offers otoplasty among its services and is conveniently located at 435 N Bedford Dr Suite 203 Beverly Hills, CA 90210
What Our Otoplasty Los Angeles Patients Are Saying
Why choose Dr. Swartout
- Fellowship trained sub-specialist in Facial Plastic surgery who attended college at Harvard University.
- Attended medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
- Interned in general surgery at New York University, followed by a specialty residency in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck surgery at New York University.
- Completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he worked with Dr. Dean Toriumi.
- A member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and the American Rhinologic Society.
- Teaches nasal surgery to residents at Harbor UCLA both to contribute to the education of future doctors and to give back to an underserved community.
- Special interests include the development of rhinoplasty techniques to create long lasting, favorable nasal shape and good nasal breathing.