Otoplasty Before and After Photos
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Apart from his private practice, Dr. Bustillo travels to places like Guatemala and Vietnam every year to help children with facial deformities. Dr. Bustillo continues to teach his surgical techniques to other surgeons. He has been invited to Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to instruct other physicians how to perform facial plastic surgery procedures.
What is an otoplasty?
Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, is a very common facial plastic surgery procedure. The procedure is performed to correct protruding ears, which may first become apparent in the first few years of life. In fact, psychologists have found that the physical appearance of the ears can have a strong impact on the psychological development of children. Occasionally, children may develop only one protruding ear or a floppy ear, commonly called “lop ear.”
About half of the patients that undergo otoplasty operation are children. Parents are many times confused about the timing of otoplasty surgery in children. Ideally, the surgery should be performed between ages five and six. At this age, the ear is fully developed and the child is about to start school. This is important because it during this time that the child begins to develop self-esteem. It is also the age at which he may be teased at school. Dr. Bustillo recommends treatment at this age to promote the development of a healthy self-esteem during the early years. Adults also commonly undergo otoplasty surgery.
Why are my ears big?
Ears can protrude from the head for two main reasons or a combination of the two. The most common reason ears can protrude is due to the absence of the anti-helical fold. The anti-helical fold fails to form during the growth of the ear, and as a consequence, the ear protrudes.
The second reason is if the conchal bowl, the part of the ear that forms a “bowl” is enlarged. The reality is that most protruding ears have a combination of the two.
Dr. Bustillo will meet with the patient and family to listen to their concerns. He will then examine the ears and explain why the patient’s ears are protruding. He will then explain the procedure from start to finish, so that the patient and family have a clear understanding of the surgical procedure and have appropriate expectations. Dr. Bustillo will then review various before and after pictures of patients that have undergone the otoplasty surgery with him.
The goal in otoplasty is to bring the ears closer to the head and lessen any asymmetry between them, so as to remove the focus from the ears.
How is the otoplasty performed?
The otoplasty procedure is performed via a small incision behind the ear. If the ear in missing the anti-helical fold, then Dr. Bustillo will place several permanent stitches through the ear cartilage. When these stitches are tied, they create the anti-helical fold and change the shape of the ear. When the fold is created, the ear will come in towards the head. The anti-helical fold should not be made by cutting any cartilage. This can lead to an ear deformity.
If the conchal bowl is too large, then the conchal bowl is carefully shaved and brought in closer to the head with permanent stitches. In most otoplasties, a combination of both of these procedures is done to bring the ear closer to head. It takes Dr. Bustillo about one and half hours to perform the otoplasty.
What type of anesthesia is used for the otoplasty?
The type of anesthesia used for the otoplasty depends on the age of the patient. Dr. Bustillo performs the otoplasty on children and teenagers with general anesthesia. The procedure is performed in either Baptist Hospital Ambulatory Center or at Bayside Center with board certified anesthesiologists (M.D.) Dr. Bustillo performs the otoplasty on adults under local anesthesia with oral sedation at his state of the art surgical suite.
The patient should spend the night of the surgery resting in bed. It is best that the patient keep a liquid diet for the first night. The head should be kept elevated with two pillows. The majority of patients that undergo an otoplasty procedure with Dr. Bustillo do not have any pain or discomfort. A prescription for pain medicine is given just in case.
Dr. Bustillo will see the patient the following day in the office and remove the bandage. A removable elastic bandage will be placed over the ears. This should be kept on at all times for the first 3 days after the surgery. From then on, the patient should wear the bandage only at night for the following 7 days. The patient will then be seen 10 days after the surgery to have any of the remaining absorbable stitches removed (the ones that have not absorbed).
Most patients are able to return to work or school about 6 days after surgery. They should avoid exercise for 3 weeks after surgery.
What does otoplasty cost?
The cost of the otoplasty procedure with Dr. Bustillo for a child is $6,500.00. This includes operating room and anesthesia. The surgery is performed in an ambulatory surgical center (either Baptist Hospital Ambulatory Center or the Bayside Ambulatory Center) using board certified anesthesiologists.
The cost of the otoplasty procedure with Dr. Bustillo for an adult is $4,500. This includes operating room charges. The procedure is performed in Dr. Bustillo state of the art surgical suite under local anesthesia and oral sedation.
What are the complications from an otoplasty?
As with any surgery, there are possible complications. Although rare, bleeding after an otoplasty can occur, especially if the patient took medications that affected coagulation. If this occurs, the incision is opened, any bleeding stopped and the dressing is replaced. The wound can become infected. This is also a rare occurrence, as Dr. Bustillo administers antibiotics before, during, and after the otoplasty. If an infection occurs, stronger antibiotics are given.
Why do some ears look too pinned back?
The reason that some ears look “too pinned back” is that the surgeon either does not have an idea of what a normal ear should look like or made an error during the surgery. Dr. Bustillo is well known for his natural and conservative results. He will provide an ear that looks natural and in the right position.