Ear surgery, also known as “otoplasty” is surgery to correct prominent ears, across a broad range of ages, in both males and females. The surgery pins the ears back closer to the head thus making them less prominent. This procedure is very common in children at the age of 5-6. Prominent ears can be very embarrassing for young children, and quite often causes them a great deal of distress, from the criticism of schoolmates and their peers. To avoid such torment or any psychological damage this surgery is performed at a relatively young age. Teenagers and adults often decide to have this surgery later in life, as often the opportunity was unavailable to them when younger.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR EAR SURGERY
You may be a good candidate for ear surgery if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- If your ears are prominent and stick out
- If you feel you are unable to wear your hair tied back due to protruding ears
- If you suffer criticism due to your ears sticking out
- If you have one ear that sticks out or if you have one ear bigger than the other
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR CONSULTATION
We give utmost importance to patient confidentiality and take strictest care to ensure your privacy. The staff at CPLSS understands that it can be difficult for a patient to make enquiries about such a delicate matter. It is their aim to make you feel as relaxed, comfortable and fully informed about the procedure as possible. Our staff will be happy to help you make an appointment with Dr. Viral Desai.
During your consultation, Dr. Viral Desai will ask you what you expect from surgery for yourself or for your child. He will inform you of the risks and complications as well as the benefits of surgery.
- You should stop smoking (including the use of nicotine patches), intake of any blood thinning tablets (i.e. aspirin/disprin) and intake of vitamins at least two weeks prior to surgery
- Medicines prescribed by Dr. Viral Desai should be taken as advised
- Fasting is required for 7 hours prior to surgery
- You should inform Dr. Viral Desai of any reactions to medications, general anaesthetics or tapes
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY OF SURGERY
Your admission time will approximately be 30-60 minutes prior to your surgery. You will have fasted for 7 hours prior to this. You will be required to be accompanied by a responsible person who would need to be with you for 24 hours after the procedure. You need to wear loose comfortable clothing – with a top that is either buttoned or zipped at the front – not one that is pulled over the head.
You will be given either a general or local anaesthetic; it is important to inform either Dr. Viral Desai or the anaesthetist of any previous reactions to anaesthetics, or if you are anxious or suffer from a nervous disorder. Anaesthetists working with Dr. Viral have had extensive experience working with children and are very familiar with all facets of plastic surgery.
When having otoplasty surgery, a fold is created at the central point of the ear enabling Dr. Viral to reshape the cartilage. Dr. Viral will then remove the skin and either fold or remove a portion of the cartilage, allowing the ear to bend naturally towards the head. The procedure will take approximately 60 minutes. You can expect to be at the hospital for 2-4 hours.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY
You will be permitted to leave the day facility once the staff is completely satisfied that you are well enough to leave. It is essential that you have someone to take you to and from the day facility. It is also imperative that someone stays with you for a 24-hour period after the procedure. The ears will have sutures, which will be removed after 2 weeks. A bandage will need to stay in place around the head for 7-10 days and you will need to buy a tennis headband to wear around your head when you arrive home.
RISKS, COMPLICATIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS
Complications related to Otoplasy are extremely rare, however there are things you should be aware of before proceeding with surgery.
- There may be some bruising or bleeding
- 100% symmetry of the ears cannot be assured
- There is a possibility of follow-up surgery, should one of the ears protrude again
- There may be some slight discomfort for the first few days post-operatively however this should not last long
- Infection can occur and would require antibiotics
- Rarely, the scars can thicken and require treatment
WHEN CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES
The decision for a child to return to school will depend on the parents and the child. Everyone heals at a different rate and some children will need to stay home longer than others. The average time spent away from work or school is approximately 7 days. It is important to avoid physical activity/exercise for at least three weekspost surgery.