Otoplasty - surgery of protruding/malformed ears
Ear surgery – otoplasty is a surgical procedure that serves to return the ear to its normal position in standing so-called. clamped ears, but it is also possible to reshape an ear that is deformed in some way.
It is probably the most effective operation for correcting any physical defect. It brings with it great physical and psychological value for the patient, with very little risk.
Otoplasty cannot damage hearing, and a successful operation implies ears proportional to the size and shape of the face and head.
OTOPLASTY - CORRECTION OF PROTRUDING EARS
The problem of irregular ears is not only aesthetic but also psychological. Even in the case of minor deformities, especially in children, this can result in impaired self-confidence and poorer adaptation at school. For these reasons, the most common candidates for otoplasty are children, and the operation is ideally performed when the ears reach their final size, which is around 5-6 years of age.
In adults, otoplasty also has an important psychological impact. There is often a desire to change the hairstyle that will no longer have to cover protruding ears.
The possibilities of the operation do not only consist of returning the ear to its normal position, but it is also possible to shape or reduce it.
OTOPLASTY - CONSULTATION BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
Just as a positive attitude toward any plastic surgery is essential, it is also especially important when it comes to childhood or adolescence. Talking to the operator before the operation helps parents to assess what is best for the child, both physically and psychologically.
The right time to start the operation is an equally important detail. Early childhood is the most desirable time for several reasons:
- cartilage is the softest and therefore most suitable for shaping and
- the child will have the greatest psychological benefit from the aesthetic improvement of the appearance.
During the consultation, the surgeon will examine all the structures of the ear and estimate possibility of correction. Even if the ears are only protruding, with no other deformities, it will probably be necessary to do the operation on both sides for maximum effect and symmetry.
In most cases, otoplasty can be performed elegantly under local anesthesia, even in older children. The reason is simple: ears can be effectively anesthetized using a local anesthetic. The exception is very young children, in whom the procedure should still be performed under general anesthesia.
A typical otoplasty on both ears takes about 1.5-2 hours.
Adult candidates for otoplasty should know that older ears show different characteristics than children's ears and have less remodeling capacity.
OTOPLASTICS - OPERATING TECHNIQUE
The operation begins with an incision in the skin behind the ear, in a natural crease where the ear joins the head. After that, remodeling/removal of the appropriate part of the cartilage and conservative skin removal are approached. Most commonly, the cartilage is modeled and reshaped, and the ear is rotated backwards and fixed with resorbable sutures of the PDS type (they dissolve after a few months) that hold the ear in a new position and shape until healing is complete. In the Polyclinic, otoplasty is most often performed, which is a combination of individual techniques named after their original authors (Mustarde, Converse, Stoenstrem, Chong Chet, etc.).
AFTER THE OPERATION
After the operation, a sterile bandage is placed around the ears and head for a few days. Significant pain is not usual. The only discomfort is the inability to sleep in the usual position (it is necessary to avoid sleeping on the side and pressure on the operated area). After sutures removal (usually the 7th day of surgery), the bandage is applied only overnight for another month. This protects the ear from trauma in the early postoperative period.
RISKS OF THE OPERATION
The risks of ear surgery are minimal. Care should be taken to develop inflammation and hematoma formation. After removing the suture, a thin hidden scar remains on the back of the ear, almost imperceptible. There is a very small chance that the ear will return to its original position due to the cartilage tissue memory.
The most commonly feared risk of otoplasty is the return of the ear to its initial (initial) standing position. Although there is a certain lower risk, especially in adult patients, prevention is the positioning of the ear in the so-called. "hypercorrection" position which, after the end of healing, comes to the exact desired position.