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Ear Plastic Surgery

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Ear plastic surgery or otoplasty is an option that is being increasingly considered by those concerned about the shape, position or proportion of their ears. This cosmetic procedure may be used to correct torn earlobes, drooping ears, very large ears and protruding ears that may appear odd and make a person vulnerable to teasing or bullying. These conditions do not affect hearing, but affect a person's self-confidence and appearance.


Fortunately, they can now turn to ear plastic surgery or corrective surgery to correct the condition. The surgery is often referred to as 'pinning the ears' as the ears are usually set back closer to the head to correct prominent protruding ears. The procedure can set you back by as much as $5000. However, the cost varies from person to person depending on their condition and the experience of the surgeon. Reconstructive surgery is more complicated as it requires taking skin and cartilage from other body parts to create an artificial ear. It therefore costs more than ear pinning.


When to go for ear plastic surgery?

When an individual's ears protrude by more than 2 cms or 4/5th of an inch from the back of the head, ear plastic surgery may be recommended. Even children can go through the procedure, provided their ears have been fully formed and they are about 6 years of age. It is in fact better to complete the procedure at a younger age, as the ear cartilage is more tender and pliant and can easily be reshaped. They additionally reap the psychological benefits at an earlier age and escape the bullying that may accompany unusually shaped ears even at school. Most patients who go through surgery are between the ages 4 to 14. However candidates of all age groups can successfully go through the procedure.


Ear plastic surgery

The procedure is best carried out by a trusted and renowned plastic surgeon. The cosmetic procedure takes about two hours. The dressings remain for a few weeks and the person may experience slight discomfort. An incision or cut is made behind the ear at the point where the ear joins the head. If the person has excessively large ears, skin may be removed and trimmed. The cartilage can be reshaped and resized to restore symmetry to the ears. The position may also be altered and then the ear is held in its new place with the help of stitches which will remain till the ear is fully healed.


Ear surgery may also be done for medical reasons, if an infant is born without a hole in the middle ear. If a person has lost an ear due to an accident, cosmetic surgery may be done whereby an artificial ear is attached if only to restore normal appearance. 'Lop Ear Deformity' is an inherited condition where the ear may droop because of the lack of a fold in the upper portion of the ear.


The surgeon may place permanent stitches to create an artificial fold and hold up the ear in its proper place. These procedures are known as reconstructive ear plastic surgeries. These surgeries are longer in duration, more complicated and take more time to heal. It is important to be in good physical health while going in for ear plastic surgery.


Earlobes plastic surgery

Torn earlobes are more common and can be corrected by earlobe plastic surgery. This condition may occur if a woman accidentally pulls hard on her earrings, or if the earrings get caught to a towel or top or even if a baby tugs on the earrings playfully. This is a condition that can be easily corrected at a doctor's office. In more serious cases, a triangular incision is made on the earlobe, and a matching piece of skin from the tissue at the other side of the ear is created and fitted into the cut and stitched. Torn earlobes that are corrected by surgery heal quickly and can be pierced again in a matter of four to six weeks. However, it must be ensured that only light weight earrings are used for a certain period of time.


Ear plastic surgery details

It is important to prepare well for otoplasty. Gather information extensively and find the best surgeon in your area for the procedure. You will initially be called in for thorough examination of the ears and a consultation where the doctor and you will discuss the various options to correct the condition. The doctor will ask for the patient's complete medical history and explain the details of the anesthesia and the corrective surgery. The patient, especially if it is a child must be psychologically prepared prior to the surgery.


Aspirin must be avoided in the two weeks preceding the surgery. Intake of tobacco and smoking are better abstained from. Although the procedure usually does not require an overnight hospital stay, it is important that a caretaker is present during the night after the surgery. The patient has to wear loose fitting clothes from the time they enter the medical facility till the healing process is completed as tight clothes tend to pull on the ear. Women must keep their hair braided, and men are asked to have a haircut before the surgery. A thorough shampoo hairwash before the surgery is recommended. General anesthesia is usually administered to children, while local anesthesia is administered to adults during the surgery.


After the surgery, the patient may be asked to wear headbands to hold the ear in place. Fluff bandages are used immediately after the surgery and these may be replaced by lighter bandages after a few days. The ear may be slightly bruised or it may swell after surgery. Children can return to their usual daily activities after a week, only keeping away from rough play for at least six weeks until the ear is fully healed. Your doctor may prescribe medication for accompanying pain. If complications arise, you should contact your physician immediately.

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