If the size or position of your ears is affecting your self-confidence, you may benefit from ear surgery or otoplasty. This surgical procedure is carried out to reduce the size of your ears, or to move them closer to the side of your head. Otoplasty surgery has a high success rate and is commonly performed. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this procedure, to help you decide ‘is otoplasty worth it’.
Why Is Otoplasty Surgery Done?
During ear correction surgery the cartilage of the ears is reshaped so that the ears lie closer to the sides of your head. It is optimal to have ear surgery done between the ages of 4 and 14 because this is when the cartilage is softest and easier to reshape. Even so, it is possible to have ear surgery at any time of your life.
Sometimes otoplasty is done to smooth out or reduce the size of the earlobes. Thanks to advances in today’s technologies, cosmetic surgeons can also reconstruct new ears for patients who may have been born without them, or for people who have lost their ears through traumatic injury.
Some of the more common issues that ear correction surgery can assist with include
Cupped ears: if you have very small ears
Lop ears: when the tip of the ear is folded down
Shell ears: if the curve in the outer rim or the natural creases and folds of the ear are missing, they can be surgically included
Is Otoplasty Worth It: What Are The Benefits Of Ear Surgery?
Changing The Appearance Of The Ear
The way the ear looks is the biggest reason that patients contact our practice for ear correction surgery. For the majority of people, the ears are positioned at between 25 degrees and 35 degrees from the side of the head.
Young children whose ears were prominent might have been victims of schoolyard teasing and bullying. Other children may have felt very critical when seeing photos of themselves, owing to the size or position of their ears.
By having ear surgery performed by an experienced and registered cosmetic surgeon, you will be able to address the aesthetic concerns that are bothering you.
Improve Your Self Confidence
The emotional and psychological effects of teasing are very real, and children can be unkind to one another as they grow up. Addressing the physical imperfections of your ear size and shape can help to restore self-confidence so that you don’t take the insecurities into adulthood.
Ear Surgery Is Permanent
The results of otoplasty surgery are permanent and almost immediately noticeable. While it will take a few months for full recovery to take place, most surgeries are successful.
Otoplasty surgery is generally carried out as an outpatient procedure, under local or general anaesthetic.
Is Otoplasty Worth It: What Are The Risks?
Just like all surgeries, ear correction surgery carries some risks, which need to be discussed with your cosmetic surgeon prior to surgery. There are general risks to be aware of, such as anaesthetic, bleeding and infection, as well as risks that are specific to your risk profile.
Because it is a surgical intervention, scars will form. A skilled cosmetic surgeon makes very small incisions and conceals them carefully within the natural creases of your ears.
Changes In Your Skin Sensations
Sometimes, skin sensations are temporarily affected after otoplasty.
Asymmetrical Ear Placement
In some cases, surgery does not correct asymmetrical ear position. Sometimes, due to changes that occur during healing, the final position may not be symmetrical.
Sometimes otoplasty can cause contours that make the ears look as though they are pinned back.
Is Otoplasty Worth The Downtime?
Recovery from otoplasty is quite quick and most patients can return to their day-to-day activities quite soon after their procedure. You will need to wear a bandage around your head for a few days. After the headband is taken off you will wear a headband while the wounds are healing.
You can expect to avoid vigorous exercise for a few weeks post-surgery, as well as bending down to pick things up from the floor.
Important things to take note of
If you are considering otoplasty, here are a few other thoughts to keep in mind.
- If only one ear protrudes, you will most likely have surgery on both ears to achieve better balance.
- Consider the cost. It is possible that Medicare or your private health insurance could cover the cost of otoplasty, but you will need to cover some out of pocket costs too.
- Perfect symmetry is not necessarily going to be achieved in your surgery. Just like natural ears are not perfectly symmetrical, some variation may take place but a skilled surgeon will always aim to minimise asymmetry to provide you with the best possible result.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a second opinion. Ear correction surgery is something that you only want to do once, so make sure you do it right. Working with an experienced surgeon can reduce your need for revisional surgery.
- Quit smoking well in advance of your surgery. It can interfere with the healing process significantly and slows recovery down.
- Make sure you are in good physical condition before your surgery. Eat healthy food and make sure you are getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. This contributes to a speedy recovery.
If you want to discuss ‘is otoplasty worth it’ in more detail please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8599 7161.