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The Otoplasty Procedure

June 23, 2016

We live in a day and age in which our technological advances in science and medicine allow us to alter various aspects of our appearance to our liking. Otoplasty is a great example of these advances. Otoplasty (ear surgery) allows for the surgical reshaping and alteration of the ears. Whether it is for personal reasons or due to trauma, injury or a deformity, otoplasty can help you attain the results you desire for the appearance of your ears. The purpose of this article is to provide you with all the information encompassing otoplasty including; cost, procedures, candidacy and benefits.

When to Consider Otoplasty

Otoplasty is a fairly straight forward procedure and should be considered by persons who are not content with the current size, length or shape of their ear. Otoplasty can also be something to consider if you have suffered an injury or trauma to the ears causing a deformation or odd shape. Otoplasty can be used to increase self-esteem and confidence with one’s own appearance. Otoplasty is not a complex procedure but as with any surgery, there are some common risks involved. It is important to contact your surgeon and inquire about the possible risks that are associated with otoplasty.

Candidacy

Before committing to the idea of a surgical procedure, one must first evaluate the requirements that need to be met for candidacy. In other words, are there existing circumstances that may impede you from being able to get the surgery? Usually, candidacy is determined by three factors, existing conditions, family history and healthy lifestyle. Existing conditions may encompass anything from diabetes or heart disease to allergies. Before proceeding with the procedure a surgeon may require medical records from your primary care physician. It is also important to let your primary care physician know about your intent for surgery so he or she may let you know about any possible conflicts. Family history may also play a large role in your candidacy for surgery. Ensure to let your doctor know of any relevant history such as; complications with past surgeries or reaction to anesthetics. Having a healthy lifestyle may also affect your candidacy. Being in good health can significantly reduce the risks of complications during and after the procedure. Your surgeon will ultimately determine your status for candidacy and will let you know what steps you need to take prior to your surgery.

Procedure

Once you have been deemed a good candidate for otoplasty, your surgeon will schedule you for your procedure. Otoplasty is comprised of the following steps.

Anesthesia

Anesthetic medication may be administered before the procedure. This medication can be administered locally through intravenous sedation or through a general anesthetic. Anesthesia is administered to minimize pain and to maximize comfort. It is important to inform your surgeon of any past condition with anesthesia before it is administered.

Incisions

The incision refers to the act of physically cutting into the intended areas for the purpose of the surgery. For otoplasty, these incisions can vary in width and length depending on the desired results. Incisions are normally made on the back portion of the ear. Once the incision is made there is usually a removal of cartilage tissue. The amount of cartilage tissue removed is dependent on the desired results. Once the desired result has been reached, sutures are placed to fasten the reshaped cartilage.

Sutures

In otoplasty sutures are not only used to seal the operated area, but also to hold the reshaped ear in place. This step is extremely important because the suturing must be done in a way that allows the reformed ear to look natural and not pinned back. The techniques implemented by your surgeon will be done in a fashion that will allow for a more natural look without altering any other features or parts of your ears.

The Result

The results of the procedure should be a newly shaped ear that you are content with and that will boost your confidence and self-esteem. There may be some swelling or bruising of the operated areas so the results may not be seen immediately. However, once healing is complete, the results should be apparent.

Recovery

Recovery time will vary from person to person and is also very dependent on the extent of the surgery. Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon may require multiple follow-up appointments to ensure that healing is taking place accordingly and to watch for signs of complications such as infection. It is important to relay to your surgeon any symptoms you may be experiencing during this time such as; pain, discomfort, bleeding, swelling etc. Your surgeon will take every necessary step to prevent further complications and to increase comfort and promote recovery.

The Benefits/Risks

As with any cosmetic surgery, there are always things to consider. It is important to research all possible risks before committing to a cosmetic procedure. The risks with otoplasty are as follows; Anesthesia complications, an undesired shape of the ear, missing skin, suture complications, infection and complications during the procedure. The benefit of otoplasty is an ear shape and length that you are ultimately satisfied with. As aforementioned, the strides in medicinal sciences has given us the opportunity to correct or improve things about ourselves that we may not find to be our liking. Victims of injury trauma or natural deformation of the ear can also benefit from  an otoplasty.

To surmise, otoplasty can help you achieve your desired look through the reshaping of your ears. The procedure is fairly straight forward and has a national average cost of $2900.00. This cost can vary from location to location and does not include other possible fees such as anesthesia fees, medical tests, and surgeon fees. As with any medical procedure, it is prudent to notify your primary care physician prior to committing to a surgery. Your physician can provide your surgeon with details about your medical conditions and histories to reduce the risk of complications. It is also important to do your own research in order to locate a surgeon that you are comfortable working with and that meet all of your expectations. Ask as many questions as you can in order to assure that you are well informed and ready to proceed with this kind of surgery.

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