Otoplasty is a popular surgical procedure designed to improve the shape of the ears. Ear surgery may be particularly beneficial for individuals with protruding, droopy or abnormally large ears.
Otoplasty can also drastically improve your facial appearance, boosting confidence and improve the overall quality of life. Otoplasty is a relatively simple procedure, but has promising results.
Opting for Otoplasty ear surgery ensures the patient has more well-formed and symmetrical ears that will complement their facial features.
Dr. Gallo explains Otoplasty Surgery
What is Otoplasty?
The primary purpose of Otoplasty is to reshape the ear. The surgery may also involve earlobe reduction, which removes excess skin from the ear. Suitable candidates can opt for Otoplasty ear surgery at any age as long as their ears have grown to their full-size.
Since the ears are among the most prominent features of the face, the reduction or ear size or the adjustment of shape during otoplasty plays an essential role in defining a person’s visual profile. It is important to note that otoplasty ear surgery does not alter the patient’s hearing ability and merely focuses on improving the external shape of the ear.
Reasons for Otoplasty
Protruding ears since birth is due to insufficient development of the ear folds
An unusual degree of protrusion
Otoplasty for One or Two Ears?
This surgery is typically performed on both the ears to ensure symmetry and harmony. However, Dr. Gallo may only perform surgery on one ear in some cases, for instance, if the patient has suffered from an injury or has a birth defect.
How it works
Dr. Gallo will use a minimally invasive otoplasty technique depending on the nature of correction required by the patient. The approach to otoplasty depends on the patient and the goal or the procedure.
Here are some example types of Otoplasty
An incision is made behind the ear that allows Dr. Gallo to access the skin and cartilage that needs to be reshaped. It is also important to know that Dr. Gallo uses minimally invasive surgical techniques (endoscopic) to reduce scarring and improve recovery time.
For a surgery that requires the incisions to be made in front of the ears, the incisions will be positioned within the inner folds of the ear. This helps to make the scars practically invisible once the healing process is complete. Dr. Gallo will then remove any excess skin and cartilage from the ear to create a desired shape.
In some cases, the ear cartilage may be trimmed to achieve a more natural shape. Non-removable sutures are usually used to permanently secure the cartilage in its place. But this may not be necessary for some patients as the cartilage may be left untouched. In such cases, the doctor will use simple stitches to secure the cartilage in place.
Patients may benefit from the nearly immediate results after surgery that should appear natural and go perfectly with the patient’s facial structure. Candidates that are concerned about surgical scars should know that Dr. Gallo works hard to hide scars within the inner creases or folds behind the ear.
Benefits of Otoplasty Surgery
Some important benefits of otoplasty surgery include:
Natural looking results
Patients are in control of how they want their ears to look
Corrects ear imperfections
Boosts self-esteem and enhances confidence
Minimal scarring after the surgery
Improves psychological and emotional wellbeing
Minimal or no risks involved with the surgery
What Problems can Otoplasty Address?
Aside from protruding ears, otoplasty can address a number of ear problems such as:
Lop Ear: This is a condition when the tip of the ear folds forward and down.
Cupped Ear: In this condition, the patient has a very small ear, where the natural creases and folks may be missing. In some cases, the curve of the outer rim may also be absent.
Overly stretched or large earlobes
Who is the Right Candidate?
While long hair can be used to disguise protruding ears, this is only a temporary fix and is not suitable for everybody. Otoplasty Ear Surgery candidates are typically unsatisfied with the shape of their ears and may have suffered from embarrassment or ridicule because of it.
Consult Dr. Gallo if you have any questions regarding this surgery.
Candidates consider otoplasty ear surgery if:
They have large ears
They have abnormally shaped ears
They want to improve the overall symmetry of their face due to oddly positioned ears
They have suffered an injury or an accident that has altered the natural shape of their ears
How Can Patients Prepare for Otoplasty Ear Surgery?
On your first visit, Dr. Gallo will likely:
Review medical history: Dr. Gallo will ask you questions regarding your current and past medical conditions. Answer truthfully about any allergies or medications that you are on. Patients must also mention if they have had an ear surgery or infection in the past.
Conduct a physical exam: Before scheduling a date for the surgery, Dr. Gallo will examine your ears, paying close attention to their shape, size, placement and symmetry. Pictures may also be taken to highlight before and after results.
Discuss expectations: Patients must discuss their expectations with Dr. Gallo, highlighting what differences they would like to see after the surgery. Ensure you have understood the risks of the surgery and the procedure.
Dr. Gallo will advise candidates to stay home for a few days after the surgery and limit outdoor activities.
Patients are normally given local anesthesia including a sedative and asked not to eat and drink the night prior to the surgery. Dr. Gallo will let you know if there are any other things you should avoid before the procedure.
On the day of the surgery, ensure you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes. Patients are advised not to wear a shirt with a tight or restrictive collar. Wearing a button down shirt is advised so you don’t have to pull the shirt over the head, touching the ears. Keep this in mind while dressing for the surgery and avoid any unnecessary accessories.
The surgery will not last more than 2 hours however; the time may vary depending on the degree and overall complexity of the surgery.
Unlike other facial surgeries, patients typically do not experience bruising or severe pain after the otoplasty. After the surgical procedure is complete, Dr. Gallo will cover the ears with soft dressings or bandages. This will ensure your ears are protected against outdoor elements and will result in proper healing. You may experience slight itching and discomfort, however the sensation is likely to go away with time.
After otoplasty, patients usually resume their normal routine in three days after the procedure. Patients are advised to not engage in rough play or sports that can disrupt the healing process.
Dr. Gallo will provide clear instructions to you and/or your family member or friend that is there with you the day of surgery on what to do right after the surgery. One of the most important instructions is to keep your head elevated to prevent discomfort, which is also going to help expedite the healing process.
As a follow-up, the patient is asked to come back to the doctor’s office after a few days to remove the dressings or bandages. A quick check-up will ensure your ears are in healing as Dr. Gallo prefers. Any stitches made during the surgery may be removed or dissolved within a week.
After the Surgery
After the procedure, bandages are used to cover the patient’s ears and provide support. Patients may also experience minor itching. Dr. Gallo may also prescribe medication to help with discomfort, according to your condition. Most of the patients do not experience a high level of discomfort.
Avoid sleeping on your side to keep the pressure off of your ears.
Do not rub or apply excessive force near the incisions.
Consider wearing shirts with loose fitting after the surgery.
Your ears are likely to appear red once Dr. Gallo has removed the bandages.
Dr. Gallo will advise you when you can carry on with daily activities after the surgery, depending on your condition. Rest assured otoplasty does not result in apparent scarring as the incisions are made within the creases of the ears.