Otoplasty is one type of cosmetic surgery / plastic surgery done to the ears. Otoplasty is also called ‘plastic ear surgery’, ‘ear reshaping surgery’, ‘ear reconstruction surgery’ or ‘cosmetic ear surgery’. Otoplasty is done for any of the following reasons:
- To correct the shape of the ears
- To correct the size of the ears
- To correct the position of the ears.
What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is one form of ear correction surgery performed by cosmetic surgeons. The operation is performed on the outer part of the ear called the ‘auricle’. Auricle is made up of folds of cartilage covered with skin. The auricle starts forming while the baby is inside the mother’s womb and continues developing for few years after delivery.
Different types of Otoplasty:
- Ear Augmentation – Ear augmentation is performed to increase the size of the ears. This is typically done in children (above the age of 5 years) or in adults whose ears are smaller in size.
- Ear pinning – Some people may be having the auricle far away from head. While this is not very uncommon, those who don’t like their ears that way go for ear pinning surgery where the auricle of the ear are brought closer to the head.
- Ear reduction – Ear reduction surgery is done in people with Macrotia. Macrotia is a condition where the ears are larger than normal. People with macrotia may opt for Otoplasty to reduce the size of their ears and bring them back to normal suitable size.
Who is the right candidate to undergo Otoplasty?
People who are not happy with the size and shape of their ears typically seek finest cosmetic surgeons near them to undergo ear correction surgery. Such people include:
- People who are born with under developed ears / auricle.
- People who met with an accident, trauma etc that resulted in deformed ears
- People who have very large or very small ears that don’t suit their face.
- People who already underwent Otoplasty and are not happy with the outcome.
If you are planning to undergo Otoplasty, you need to satisfy the following conditions:
- Must be above the age of 5 years. (Not before that because, the ears continue to develop until after 5 years).
- You need to be in overall good health so that the injury made to the ear during surgery heals properly without any issues.
- You should be a non smoker or you need to pause or quit months before undergoing surgery. Smoking slows down healing process by decreasing the flow of blood.
What happens during Otoplasty surgery?
Once you decide to undergo Otoplasty surgery with your most trusted and finest cosmetic surgeon in your city, you will be provided with an appointment of surgery date. Surgery will be done as an outpatient procedure and may take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours depending on what needs to be done and whether it is for one year or both.
Local anesthesia will be given and sedation may also be given depending on the age of the subject. Steps involved in performing Otoplasty surgery in brief are:
- Incision(s) will be made on the back of the ear(s)
- The cartilage of the ear may be trimmed off or folded or reshaped depending on what needs to be done and then the incisions will be closed with stitches.
The stitches may either be dissolvable or may have to be removed after a week; your surgeon will let you know.
After the surgery, the ear(s) will be wrapped in a bandage and you need to make sure that you keep the area clean and dry.
Taking care after Otoplasty surgery
- Most important is to keep the area clean and dry. Avoid any type of contact with water.
- Once the bandage is removed, avoid touching or scratching the surgery site.
- Sleep in such a way that the ears don’t touch your bed or pillow.
- Wear clothing with buttons so that you don’t need to wear or remove them over your head.
During recovery, you can expect bruising, pain, redness and tingling sensation. These are common and your doctor would have mentioned to you already. If you see any fluids leaking or bleeding at the incision site, see your cosmetic surgeon immediately. You need to follow the prescription medication as advised to avoid any infection and to heal faster.
Risks of ear reshaping surgery
As with any surgery, there exists risks of undergoing ear reshaping surgery including:
- Irregular or non symmetrical shape of ears
- Bleeding and infection
- Losing skin sensation temporarily
- Stitches may come off that were supposed to secure the new ear shape.
Cost of cosmetic ear surgery and is it covered by health insurance?
Cost of cosmetic ear surgery depends on different factors including the purpose of the surgery and if needs to be done for one year or both. Generally cosmetic surgery procedures are not covered by health insurance unless the damage to the ears is due to an accident or trauma that is covered by your policy.
At Flood Gates Plastic Surgery Clinic in Chennai, we have a separate insurance department who can answer all of your insurance coverage related questions. Once you get the quote from our front desk, you can enquire with our team if the surgery cost is covered by your policy and if yes, to what extent.