What is an otoplasty ?
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure intended to correct defects of the ear cartilage which can make the ear look too big or make them stick out too much. Several defects can be corrected with a single procedure or separate operations. The goal of otoplasty surgery is to restore symmetry between the ears while preserving their natural appearance. Otoplasty can be performed on an adult or adolescent patient, but it is often performed on younger patients (starting from the age of 7) complaining about their ear defect.
What happens during surgery ?
Here is the surgical technique used to correct ear defects. First, an incision is made in the natural fold of the back of the ear. In certain cases, additional small sized incisions are made in the front side of the auricle, but those can be hidden in natural folds as well. Several corrections can be made to the ear cartilage (removal , resection, sutures, etc.). The technique used depends on the defect to be corrected. The operating plan is decided during the preoperative consultations. Typically, non resorbable sutures are used and removed after 10 days. A bandage is placed around the head to maintain the ears in position.
What happens after surgery ?
The recovery differs a lot from one patient to another. Postoperative pain is usually mild and standard painkillers alleviate them easily. During the first few days following surgery, patients are advised to rest. The first dressing is changed after a couple of days and replaced by a lighter one. During the initial recovery, the ears are generally swollen and bruised. Stitches behind the ears are removed after 10 to 14 days.
After that, patients have to wear a compressive headband night and day for a period of two weeks, then only at night for a few more weeks. During this time, exercising is advised against. Patients can expect the definitive result after 2 to 3 months, but scars resulting from the incisions continue to fade over a period of two years.