When the ears are large, protruding (lop ears), or asymmetrical, it can distract from the overall appearance of the face. For instance, In children, it can lead to unwanted attention, embarrassment, and ridicule from other kids.
There are minimally invasive techniques available for cosmetic ear surgery to reshape the ear using sutures buried under the skin. These stitches create permanent improvements in the shape and symmetry of prominent ears.
What Is Otoplasty Surgery?
Cosmetic ear surgery (also called Otoplasty or Ear Pinning surgery) is a surgical procedure aimed to change only the appearance of the ears.
It doesn’t really change anything about your hearing, but it gives you some psychological benefits if you’re teased about having big ears or if you’ve had an injury to one of them. An ear surgery procedure is usually done to bring outlier ears closer to the head so they don’t stick out too far. The main purpose of the surgery is just to hide the ears by improving the natural folds.
Consultation for Otoplasty in Beverly Hills
The first step when thinking about Otoplasty is scheduling an appointment with Dr. Swartout. During this appointment, our doctors will review your medical history, including any current medication or health condition you might be dealing with. We’ll perform a physical exam of your ear to see what we can do to improve them and to ensure you will have a personalized experience. Before you make a decision, we’ll review your expectations to ensure you’re properly informed.
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 children and adults. Therefore, it comes with extra-safe procedures. Adult patients mostly go for milder local anesthesia, while children take a more cautious step for this cosmetic 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, and asymmetric ears.
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.
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Best Candidates for Otoplasty Procedure?
An ideal candidate for an Otoplasty procedure is:
Over at least 5 years and under 66 years
The auricle reaches 90% of its adult size by the age of 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 cosmetic procedure.
Similarly, adults under the age of 66 are good candidates due to the 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 for six weeks before your procedure. Smoking can slow down the healing process, render anesthesia useless, and is an overall health hazard.
Otoplasty surgery can take about one hour to a maximum of three hours, depending on the patient’s condition. General anesthesia and sedation are fitting for plastic surgery patients during these types of aesthetic procedures.
First, board-certified 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 Otoplasty Effects
Just like any other cosmetic surgery, Otoplasty also comes with various benefits and certain risks.
- Improves the overall appearance of the ear.
- Adds self-confidence in children who face bullies due to their irregular ear shapes and sizes.
- Makes ears more proportional to the face.
- The scars can be permanent but will always be hidden behind the ears.
- Otoplasty can temporarily change ear sensation.
To avoid further and more problematic side effects and additional risks, 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 given by Dr. Swartout after your ear reshaping 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 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 prescribes any topical pain 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 time as these have chemicals that can have detrimental effects on your incisions. If they have not healed enough, the wounds can feel itchy and uncomfortable.
After the first few weeks of recovery, you can return to your normal activities, but, take extra care when engaging in activities that involve contact with the ears. Wait at least two weeks after surgery before returning to any strenuous physical activity or swimming. During this time, follow all of Dr. Swartout’s instructions for proper wound care and healing.
Otoplasty Surgery Cost in Beverly Hills, CA
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 and post-surgery medication, add to the bill. These are usually discussed during the initial consultation.
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 natural-looking 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 surgical technique can create a natural contour more safely.
Otoplasty procedures can be completed when the ears have fully grown. This normally occurs by age 5 or 6. In other words, this procedure is usually performed on children.
Assuming the sutures remain intact, the outcomes should last. Although it’s possible for sutures to burst, the cartilage can maintain its shape. Your ears generally take approximately six weeks to settle into their final position, and they are unlikely to move afterwards.
If you live near Beverly Hills, CA, Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgery offers otoplasty among its services and is conveniently located at 414 North Camden Drive 8th Floor Beverly Hills, CA 90210, feel free to schedule a consultation.
What Our Otoplasty Los Angeles Patients Are Saying
Related procedures: Reconstructive Surgery Beverly Hills, CA, Revision Rhinoplasty Beverly Hills, CA.
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.