Otoplasty (ear surgery) is one of the select few procedures in which Dr. Bustillo specializes as a facial plastic surgeon. For this reason you can be assured of a result that is both natural and conservative and that is tailored to suit each patient’s unique features and characteristics. (See some before and after photos here.)
Cosmetic ear surgery is very common. It is done to correct ears that protrude too much. If only one ear protrudes this is known as “lop ear.” The goal is always to bring the ears closer to the head and reduce any asymmetry of the ears in relation to each other.
The Two Causes of Protrusion
Protrusion can be caused by two things (though most often it is a combination of the two):
- An absent antihelical fold. This is the Y-shaped structure located in between the ear lobe and ear canal.
- An enlarged conchal bowl. This is the indented area just outside the ear canal.
How the Otoplasty Procedure Corrects
- An absent antihelical fold: Dr. Bustillo places several permanent stitches through the cartilage of the ear. They are then tied, creating the antihelical fold and shaping the ear. As this is happening, the ear will move towards the head.
- An enlarged conchal: The conchal bowl is carefully shaved. It is brought closer to the head with permanent stitches.
Because most protrusion is often caused by a combination of these two issues, a combination of the two procedures is often used.
An otoplasty performed by Dr. Bustillo usually takes about an hour and a half.
Varying Factors in the Procedure
The costs, type of anesthesia used, and where the otoplasty is performed depends on the age of the patient. About half of otoplasty patients are children, the other half are adults.
Ideally an otoplasty is performed between the ages of 5 and 6. This is because at this age the ear is fully developed and the child is about to start school. Having it performed at this time can prevent any teasing and promote self-esteem.
For children the surgery is performed in an ambulatory surgical center (Baptist Hospital Ambulatory Center or Bayside Ambulatory Center) under general anesthesia by a board certified anesthesiologist.
For adults, it is performed at Dr. Bustillo’s state-of-the-art surgical suite under local anesthesia with oral sedation.
The cost of an otoplasty for children is around $5,500, for adults it is around $4,000.
Bed rest and a liquid diet are prescribed the night after surgery with the head elevated by two pillows. Pain and discomfort is rare, but a pain medicine is prescribed just in case.
Dr. Bustillo sees patients the following day in his office to remove the bandages and replace them with removable elastic bandages. He prescribes that they be kept on for the next three days, then at night for the next seven. After 10 days Dr. Bustillo sees the patient again to remove any stitches that remain and have not been absorbed.
Most can return to school or work a week after surgery, but should avoid exercise or any other strenuous activity for the next three weeks.
Complications with otoplasty are rare. Bleeding can occur, especially if the patient is on medications that affect clotting. To correct this, the incision is reopened, the bleeding is stopped, and the dressing and bandages are replaced. As with any surgery the wound can become infected. But Dr. Bustillo prevents this by administering antibiotics before, during, and after surgery. If an infection still occurs, a stronger antibiotic is prescribed.
Dr. Andres Bustillo, M.D., F.A.C.S. 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.
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 a wide range of patients. 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.