Otoplasty: everything you need to know about the surgery that corrects protruding ears
He Dr. Ramón Calderón Nájeraspecialized in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and who currently practices as a plastic surgeon in the FEMM Clinicexplains to MagasIN everything about otoplasty.
What is otoplasty?
It is an operation through which we bring the ears closer to the temporal area, leaving them closer to the head.
Sometimes, patients also ask us to reduce the vertical dimension or overall size of the ear. This second technique is somewhat more laborious, but the results are excellent. It is performed by carving the auricular cartilage through an imperceptible scar behind them.
How long does it take to notice the effects on the face after the operation?
The effects are immediate, since the cartilage carving is secured by sutures and the ears remain in their new position or size since we finish the operating room.
What kind of anesthesia is used? What is the postoperative period like?
It is an operation that can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, although when we operate on children under approximately 13 years of age, anesthetists prefer to put them to sleep with general anesthesia.
In the postoperative period, the patient must wear a somewhat bulky bandage for 2 or 3 days. This bandage is removed in consultation and, from that moment on, the patient will only wear a tennis-style band at night to protect the points from sudden movements while sleeping.
The first 2 days you should take pain relievers; Sleeping on your back, without resting your ears on the side, helps reduce discomfort.
Is any type of complementary treatment needed for skin quality?
In all the patients on whom we perform otoplasty, we infiltrate PRP (platelet-rich plasma taken from the patient’s own blood) into the skin, both of the scar and the visible side of the ear. Thus, the skin adapts very well and we improve its texture, which helps with faster recovery and hydration.
Infiltrating plasma in the same operation is the best help for the skin of the ear, the scar and the cartilage that we have worked on.
What is the average age of people who request otoplasty?
We operate on many children from 5 or 6 years old. It is one of the few operations that we perform on minors and it is a joy to see how they later show their joy by putting up their hair, cutting it very short and, above all, being happier and more relaxed about a physical aspect that worried them.
Then adults tell us after the operation that if they had known, they would have done it sooner, although this is a common comment in many cosmetic surgery operations such as rhinoplasty.
What are the clearest examples of otoplasty in popular women or celebrities?
I’m not a big fan of celebritiesI could not tell.
What are the risks of this intervention?
Like any operation or medical act, there are always risks that we must minimize by putting ourselves in the hands of a good surgeon and always perform the operation in the presence of a good anesthetist.
The most common complication described is recurrence, that is, the ear returning to its original position and the operation having to be repeated.
I have been operating for 18 years and, although I specify to all patients in the consent that this complication can occur, it has not happened to any patient yet, which shows that it is very rare.
Is it an expensive operation?
Otoplasty can be performed from 3,200 euros, although the final price depends on the surgeon’s individualized assessment of the patient and their needs.
Have you noticed greater demand after the pandemic?
Not especially. The aesthetic operations that have increased after the pandemic have been the eyelids and the nose, but I would say that otoplasty remains the same as always.
Can continued use of the mask affect cartilage?
It doesn’t seem to me that wearing a mask to protect ourselves from Covid makes our ears stand off; At most, it causes irritation of the retroauricular skin, but not major alterations.
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