Ear surgery is performed in order to correct the size, shape, or protrusion of the ears. Often prospective patients have concerns about their ears being too prominent or protruding out too far from the head. This can cause an imbalance in the facial features, drawing attention to the ears. The surgery itself is a very straightforward procedure that offers big benefits and very little risks to patients, those as young as 6 can be considered for ear-correction surgery.
Issues Addressed by Ear Surgery
An ear surgery procedure can truly alter almost any aspect of the external part of the ear. And it has many applications that offer patients specific changes to achieve their desired results. Some of the common issues that ear surgery can address include:
- Cup ear, a condition where the conchal bowl cartilage overdevelops and results in a widened ear.
- Lop ear, a condition where the anti-helical fold has failed to develop and the surrounding conchal part of the ear is out of balance with the rest of the ear.
- Protruding ears, which jut out too far from the side of the head. They may be too far forward or be angled too far outward.
- A range of other birth defects and deformations of the bone and cartilage of the outer ear.
How an Ear Surgery Procedure Works
Because ear surgery addresses different problems, every procedure is individually tailored to the needs of each patient. Depending on the type and extent of work required to achieve the desired results, surgery lasts about two to three hours. Often the patient only needs local anesthesia with IV sedation, although children are generally given general anesthesia.
If protruding ears are the issue, incisions will be made on the back surface of the ear and then, if needed, on the front. All incisions are placed within the natural folds of the ear to decrease visibility after surgery. Protrusion is then corrected by creating or increasing the fold of the rim of the ear. The conchal cartilage can be reduced as needed through removal. Finally, permanent stitches can be placed to hold the ear into place.
Other concerns about the shape and size of the ear will be addressed through similar methods. Cartilage can be added or removed as needed to achieve the desired size. The facial plastic surgeon will also be able to manipulate the shape of the ear to reverse deformities or damage that has been done. The ears will be more symmetrical, shaped more naturally, and proportional to the rest of the face’s features.
Ear Surgery Recovery
Following your ear surgery incisions will be sutured closed and a special bandage will be placed around the head. This supportive bandage will be worn up to two days, then replaced with a specialized support headband to wear for one week and then nightly for up to six weeks. This is an essential part of your recovery as it will help to maintain the positioning of your ears. Your sutures will be removed about one week after surgery.
During the first few days and weeks, patients tend to experience some mild discomfort, swelling, and redness around the ears. Medication may be prescribed to manage any pain you might experience. Follow your surgeon’s instructions closely to be sure that you are supporting your body’s healing process. This will likely include avoiding certain activities for a period of time.
Ear Surgery Risks
There is no such thing as a truly risk-free surgery, but ear surgery ranks among one of the safest procedures in the field of plastic surgery. Ear surgery patients experience very few complications, and even then only rarely.
Among the complications are poor reactions to anesthesia, infection, and unsatisfactory results. To protect yourself against these negative possibilities, make sure you’re choosing a board certified facial plastic surgeon with a proven history of safe, effective otoplasty procedures. The facial plastic surgeon will work with you to prevent poor results and also to ensure that you have an easy recovery without incident.
Contact Dr. Bustillo and Plan Your Ear Surgery Today
Correct your ears once and for all. Learn more today by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Andres Bustillo, M.D., F.A.C.S. has performed rhinoplasty on younger patients after the nose has finished growing. He’s available to discuss the pros and cons of the surgery with parents and teens and to help a teenager decide if it’s the right option for him or her. He is one of a select few double board certified facial plastic surgeons. He is board certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (ABOto).
Because he is a facial specialist, he does not perform surgery on any area of the body other than the face. This specialization and experience has allowed him to get results for patients ranging in facial shapes, features, and skin types. By continuing to build his experience and keep up on the latest advancements Dr. Bustillo has built his reputation as someone who produces natural, long-lasting results.
Over 50 percent of his practice is dedicated to rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. The rest is devoted to other types of facial rejuvenation surgery. He performs over 300 nasal surgeries a year. Twenty-five percent of his patients come from outside the United States. Twenty percent of his patients are other doctors and their families.
He and his team can be contacted by phone at 305-663-3380 or by email through the contact form. The office of Dr. Bustillo is here to answer your questions, and help you to plan your initial consultation. You can also directly contact our patient care coordinator, Jessica, by email. Dr. Bustillo is committed to total patient care and support through his practice based just south of Miami, in beautiful and historic Coral Gables, Florida.