- What Causes Cosmetic Ear Problems?
- About Otoplasty
- Otoplasty Before and After Photos
- Best Candidates for Otoplasty
- The Miami Otoplasty Consultation
- The Otoplasty Procedure
- Anesthesia Used in Otoplasty Surgery
- Recovery after Otoplasty
- Potential Risks and Complications of Otoplasty
- Otoplasty FAQs
- Why Choose Dr. Andres Bustillo?
- Consult with Dr. Andres Bustillo about Otoplasty
What Causes Cosmetic Ear Problems?
In some cases, a traumatic injury, such as a car wreck or torn earlobe, is the cause of ear deformities. However, many babies are born with large ear lobes, protruding or drooping ears, or even ears with missing cartilage.
While these abnormalities usually don’t affect a person’s hearing, they can still significantly impact their quality of life. For example, patients of all ages with misshapen ears often experience social anxiety, while school-aged children may become more vulnerable to teasing. If you or your child has uniquely shaped ears, an otoplasty, or ear surgery, could be the solution.
Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, is a very common facial plastic surgery procedure. The goal of an otoplasty is to give the ears a more natural shape regarding projection and size while also restoring balance and proportion to the face overall.
The procedure is frequently 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.
An otoplasty in Miami can be done on patients as young as four years old, and of course, at any time for adults. Dr. Bustillo customizes his approach for otoplasty surgery based on each patient’s unique anatomy and specific goals for treatment. If you’re unhappy with the size or shape of your ears, otoplasty may be a good choice.
Otoplasty Before and After Photos
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Best Candidates for Otoplasty
About half of the patients who undergo the otoplasty operation are children. Parents are often confused about the timing of otoplasty surgery in children, however.
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 is 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 healthy self-esteem during the early years. Adults also commonly undergo otoplasty surgery.
The Miami Otoplasty Consultation
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 go over the procedure from start to finish so that the patient and family have a clear understanding of the surgical procedure and have appropriate expectations.
The doctor 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.
The Otoplasty Procedure
The otoplasty procedure is performed via a small incision behind the ear. If the ear is 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 it is carefully shaved and brought in closer to the head with permanent stitches. In most otoplasty procedures, a combination of both of these procedures is done to bring the ear closer to the head. It takes Dr. Bustillo about one and half hours to perform the otoplasty.
Anesthesia Used in Otoplasty Surgery
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.
Recovery after Otoplasty
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 been 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.
Potential Risks and Complications of 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.
- What to Expect From Otoplasty
- Cosmetic Ear Surgery: For Children and Adults
- What’s Behind a Successful Otoplasty
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.
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-looking and conservative results. He will provide a result that looks natural and places the ear in the right position.
Good candidates for otoplasty include individuals who are physically healthy, realistic in their expectations, and interested in improving the appearance of their protruding ears. The procedure is often performed on children between the ages of five and fourteen. Otoplasty is also often performed on adults.
Dr. Bustillo performs the otoplasty procedure on children beginning at age five. The reason for performing the procedure at age five is two-fold.
One, the children’s ears have developed by this age. Two, the children enter grade school at this age and may be teased or picked on. Having the surgery before entering grade school will avoid this situation.
Dr. Bustillo also performs the procedure on healthy adults that have protruding ears.
Dr. Bustillo performs the otoplasty procedure for children at the Baptist Outpatient Surgery Center. When Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Bustillo performs the otoplasty procedure in adults, he uses his office-based operating room.
The incision for the otoplasty procedure is typically made just behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear meets the head.
The incision made for otoplasty will not be noticeable after it has healed.
Most patients experience some mild discomfort the first night. This is well-controlled with mild pain medication.
Why Choose Dr. Andres Bustillo?
Dr. Andres Bustillo is a dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon in both facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Dr. Bustillo has been in private practice in the Miami area for over ten years and is well known for his natural and conservative results.
Some of Dr. Bustillo’s training and certifications include:
- American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
- Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at The New York University
- Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Residency at The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital
- General Surgery Internship at The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Consult with Dr. Andres Bustillo about Otoplasty
If you think you or your child could benefit from otoplasty surgery, then the next step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bustillo. To make an appointment at our Miami office, call 305.317.1960 today.