What is the otoplasty operation?
Pinnaplastia or Otoplasty is an operation that adjusts the shape of the cartilage in the ear to create the missing folds and to allow the ear to stretch closer to the side of the head. Since the operation is carried out from behind the ears, a small scar can result in the proximity of the groove between the ear and the side of the head. Are there several types of technical procedures that leave small scars almost invisible (see how to perform the operation?) The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, but in young children a general anesthesia is required. If the earlobe is particularly high, a small procedure may also be required to reduce its size.
Who is a good candidate for Otoplasty
About 1 to 2 of the population believes that their ears are too prominent. In many cases, the form and laying of the ears is inherited, and a tendency in the family can be observed. The most prominent ears often have an uneven fold, and sometimes an ear is more prominent than the other. People with prominent ears are sometimes teed, especially in school years, and this can lead to a loss of self-confidence.
The costs of the otoplasty operation.
The cost varies between 400 eur-1600 EUR. These costs include the surgeon’s fee, anesthesiologist and hospitalization as well as all the medications and materials necessary for the operation and during hospitalization.
What happens before the operation?
The operation is most often performed during childhood, but it is best to be done when the patient is 5 years old or more because until then the cartilage is very flexible and does not tolerate the stitches well. It is recommended that although parents may think that their child’s ears should be corrected to avoid teasing and stigmatisation it is best to wait until the child recognizes the problem and wants the ears to be corrected. Children are generally more cooperative and happy with the outcome when they fully understand the reason why the operation takes place. Pinnaplastia is performed both in the years of adolescence and in adult life, either under local anesthesia or in general.
How can I help the operation to be a success?
Keeping your health as good as possible and a weight appropriate to your age and height. They will help with a rapid healing without complications.
How to do this operation?
When it is noted that an ear is prominent since the first weeks of life, it may be remodeled by applying a small splint to the lip. The cartilage of the ear of a newborn is very flexible and easy to convert and after a few weeks of splitting, a permanent correction is carried out. The older the child, the more rigid the cartilage and the longer the transformation period should be. From the age of six months the cartilage is too rigid to be remodeled and a surgical solution is required.
The surgical solution is aimed at bringing the ear pavilion closer to the head. This is done by mounting non-woven suture strands under the skin at the cartilage of the ear pavilion that tighten so that the flag approaches the head. Dr Hârceis uses in selected cases a minimally invasive technique that creates small incisions on where the suture threads are inserted. The advantage of this technique towards classical technology is that it does not require an incision behind the ear and the removal of the skin from the cartilage. This technique allows to perform the operation in local anesthesia and an extremely rapid recovery, patients can return to work even the next day.
In a minority of cases, classical technique is required especially in cases where there is an excess of cartilage at the level of the pavilion to be excised.
How long does the operation take, hospitalization is required?
The operation lasts between 1 and 2 hours usually carried out in local anesthesia. In children, usually after 12 years, it is possible to perform the operation in local anesthesia. Even if the operation is carried out in general anesthesia or sedation patients can go home on the same day.
What do I expect after the operation?
After the operation is usually worn a small dressing until the wires are removed at an interval between 5-10 days after the operation. Once the dressing has been removed, it is advisable to wear a head bandage or protective bandage during sleep, to avoid bending the ears in contact with the pillow. Most of the times the ears are inflamed and sensitive well for several weeks after the operation being required to use some analgesic medications, such as Paracetamol or codeine. Other drugs, such as aspirin or nurofenus can sometimes cause unwanted bleeding after surgery and should be avoided. The scar behind the ear usually heals well, but in rare cases it can become red and develop swelling. A small number of patients, especially those who are very sensitive with regard to the precise form of their ears, may require a minor adjustment procedure. However, the vast majority of patients are very satisfied with the outcome, and the procedure has a high rate of satisfaction.
The hair can be washed at 48 hours after the operation. It is important to keep the groods behind clean ears.
Risks and side effects associated with the operation
SPECIFIC RISKS of Otoplastia
- In children the operation is carried out generally under general anesthesia and it implies in itself a very low risk. In a small number of patients (approximately 3) scars can become rigid and red, and may require additional treatment. Infection is not common, but if it occurs, this will require a treatment with antibiotics and regular pansare. Sometimes the dressing can rub the ears and produce a rupture of the skin, which may require a long time to heal. There is a small risk that the repair does not properly fix, which is necessary for an adjustment surgery. Ears are often slightly numb after the procedure, and this usually takes a few weeks to improve.
Risks and side effects associated with the operation.
Recovery and some tips for a good recovery.