Ear surgery is typically performed on children once their ears have fully developed and the natural positioning of their ears becomes apparent. The procedure can also be performed on adults of any age who wish for the same adjustment.
Also known as otoplasty, ear surgery is a customized procedure that adjusts the angle of the ears relative to the face, to give a more natural, streamlined appearance. This may help minimize social anxiety stemming from the appearance of the ears. Ear surgery can also correct issues of size, balance and ear shape.
When to Consider Ear Surgery
Ideal candidates for ear surgery are those whose ears have fully developed. Candidates should also be able to understand and cooperate with instructions regarding the procedure. Benefits may include:
- Decreasing the angle between ears and face
- Balancing of ear size
- Correcting irregularities of the ear
Patients are discouraged from smoking prior to the procedure to help speed the healing process. Those with serious health conditions may not be good candidates for this procedure and should disclose their full medical history during the consultation process.
What are the steps of the ear surgery procedure?
While there are many variations of ear surgery, many follow the same general steps to achieve the intended result. Local anesthetic or intravenous sedation is typically used, though general anesthetic is sometimes recommended, particularly for the treatment of young children.
Typically, the first incision will be made behind the ear, hidden along its natural lines. The cartilage of the ear is reshaped and any excess cartilage is removed to decrease the angle of the ear. The incision is closed with fine sutures or surgical strips for minimal scarring. For ear reduction or reshaping procedures, incisions on the front of the ear may be necessary, but these will also be positioned within the natural lines of the ear.
How long does recovery take following the procedure?
After the procedure, dressings will be applied to protect incisions and minimize swelling or bruising. Dressings or other support may be recommended for up to several weeks to ensure that the ears are protected and heal in the proper position. Often a ski headband may be recommended for sleeping to further protect the ears from damage. Stitches are typically removed within a week after the procedure, and bruising should fade in 7-10 days. Some swelling may be present for several weeks following the surgery.
Is there scarring from ear surgery?
Due to the prominence of the natural lines of the ear, the very light incisions lines should be well hidden from view in both the front and back of the ear. The incision lines will continue to fade for up to six months, and should eventually become nearly unnoticeable.
How will I feel after the procedure?
There may be some pain following the procedure, though it may be controlled with prescription medication for a few days. Discomfort from bruising and swelling may persist for a few weeks, and the ears may be more sensitive until fully healed.
Are there any possible complications?
With ear surgery, there is the risk of undesirable cosmetic outcome, due to asymmetry or a desire for greater or less correction. These problems may be addressed with revisionary surgery. As with all surgeries, there is a slight chance of complications such as bleeding, infection and poor wound healing. All of these risks will be discussed in depth during the consultation process.
Learn More About Ear Surgery in Tampa
To learn more about ear surgery, or to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Mosiello, contact our office at 813-631-1500. Our Tampa Palms cosmetic surgery office is conveniently located in New Tampa near Wesley Chapel.