WHAT IS EAR SURGERY?
Ear surgery is performed with the goal to bring balance and symmetry to the face by creating a natural-looking and proportional ear structure, or to treat and correct a physical defect of the ear structure resulting from injury or genetics.
Ear Surgery procedures can be performed to correct:
- Macrotia (overly large ears)
- Ears that protrude on one or both sides
- Revise and enhance the results of previous ear surgery in adult patients.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EAR SURGERY PROCEDURES?
1. Ear Pinning Surgery (Otoplasty)
Otoplasty surgery is performed to help correct prominent ears. Both adults and children undergo ear surgery to address aesthetic issues associated with misshapen ear cartilage. This leaves patient with missing some of the “natural” cartilaginous folds found in the ears and also leaves the ears “sticking out” too much from the head or being asymmetric. This can lead to scorn and ridicule in children and as a result profound psychological and self esteem challenges.This surgery is generally performed under general anaesthesia for children under the age of 12. For adults this procedure can be done under local anaesthesia. It is generally a painless surgery and can last around 45 minutes. Dr Sinno uses small incisions on the back of the ears with absorbable sutures and if necessary sculpts the cartilage to recreate a natural symmetric aesthetic result. The results are immediate and the patient satisfaction is generally extremely high.
2. Prominent Earlobe Surgery
Prominent earlobe surgery is performed to correct the abnormalities in the lower 1/3 of the ear, which can be sticking out. This usually happens due to genetic reasons that leave people affected with a cup shaped ear that is sticking out of the head more than average. Some patients come in with their ears missing some of the “natural” cartilaginous folds. Unfortunately, this asymmetry can lead to scorn and ridicule for some children and, as a result, may cause profound psychological and self-esteem challenges.This surgery is generally performed under general anaesthesia for children under the age of 12. For adults this procedure can be done under local anaesthesia. It is generally a painless surgery and can last around 20 minutes. Dr Sinno uses very small incisions on the back of the ears with absorbable sutures to recreate a natural symmetric aesthetic result. The results are immediate and the patient satisfaction is generally extremely high.
3. Torn Earlobe Correction
Torn Earlobe correction surgery is performed with the goal to repair a torn ear most commonly caused by wearing heavy earrings for extended periods of time or by gradually widening the ear lobe piercing with spacers. This surgery can bring balance and symmetry to the face by creating a natural-looking and proportional ear structure, or to treat and correct a physical defect of the ear structure resulting from trauma.It is performed under local anaesthesia, can take as quickly as 20 minutes and performed as an outpatient setting. Dr. Sinno usually uses absorbable sutures and advices patients that they can return to work right after surgery. Physical strain should be avoided for a few days. Re-piercing of the ear or earlobes is advised only after 3-6 months following the repair.
WHAT IS THE EAR SURGERY PROCEDURE AND RECOVERY IN MORE DETAIL?
Otoplasty is generally performed in an outpatient setting using local anaesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia.
During your ear surgery, Dr. Sinno will generally aim to make small, discrete incisions within the crease behind the ears, and will use sutures to fold the ear cartilage back to an aesthetically desirable position.
In some cases, the antihelical fold (located on the inner rim of the ear) will be augmented, and if ear protrusion is caused by the presence of a large concha (hollow area next to the ear canal), Dr. Sinno can carefully remove excess conchal cartilage to correct this issue. He will then use sutures to bring the earlobe into balance with the new ear position, and will trim any excess skin.
Dr. Sinno can also use cartilage-scoring techniques to shape and sculpt the ear that may not necessitate sutures or can be coupled with suture reconstruction. Please discuss the options for your otoplasty with Dr. Sinno stating your concerns and desires of outcome.
Dr. Sinno understands the importance of a natural-looking outcome, and aims to use precise surgical techniques to try to avoid altering the appearance of other facial structures, and to prevent an unnatural, “pinned back” look.
EAR SURGERY RECOVERY
The average post-operative recovery period for ear surgery is 7-10 days. The original surgical dressing will remain in place for one week (children who have had ear surgery will need to be monitored to make sure that this bandage stays in place throughout the first 24 hours after surgery). Pain medication will be prescribed to minimize any post-procedural soreness or discomfort.
You will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Sinno typically around one week after your otoplasty surgery, at which time you will be able to see the initial aesthetic enhancements to the shape and position of your ear(s), and these results should continue to improve over the next six weeks, as any residual swelling abates. Otoplasty patients typically return to school and/or work after 7-10 days, although you will be advised to limit strenuous activities for the next few weeks.
– Day Surgery
Ear Surgery generally takes 45 min to 1 hour, after which, you may be released (depending on your medical condition and health state) to a friend or family member and may return home to continue your recovery.
Patients will be advised to wear special sports headbands for 6 weeks after the initial dressings are removed during exercise and sleeping. You will need to apply antibiotic ointment into the ear creases.
– Showers & Washing
The bandages are usually removed within a week after surgery. Dr. Sinno recommends that all bandages should remain dry and clean. Showers should be avoided, until authorized by Dr. Sinno. This is usually after all bandages are removed at the first postoperative visit. Until then, sponge baths are recommended.
We recommend using white unscented shampoo and soap, along with running water on the incisions after the bandages are removed and only when given medical authorization to do so.
– Activity and Exercise
You will be advised to refrain from rubbing the ears for at least six weeks following your otoplasty procedure.
Dr. Sinno recommends that patients refrain from all activities that may increase their heart rate or blood pressure, including exercise, sexual activity, stressful situations, etc., for at least the first two weeks after your surgery.
However, it is recommended that patients walk and perform their usual activities within the limitation of the medical advice given and in tolerance to their comfort. No lifting of more than 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) is recommended for at least two weeks after surgery.
Sleeping with the head elevated is recommended for the first week after surgery to help decrease the post-operative swelling.
It is recommended that patients do not drive when taking narcotic pain medications and when wearing bulky dressings that may hinder their normal reflexes and reactivity.
– General Healing
You may experience some swelling and bruising that will peak two to three days after your ear surgery, and usually subsides within 2-6 weeks. Post-operative swelling, pain, bruising and duration may differ, depending on the patient and the extent of the ear surgery performed.
– You can expect to be able to see visible aesthetic improvements in your ears immediately following your otoplasty. These results should continue to progress over the following weeks, as the incision site heals and the swelling decreases. Swelling can take six weeks to subside. Dr. Sinno advises his patients that the final results should be expected approximately one year following the procedure, at which point all scars and incisions should be mature.
All medical and surgical procedures have inherent risks and potential complications that are associated with them. It is imperative that you understand the potential risks, complications and consequences that can arise after the medical or surgical procedure you undertake. This understanding will better allow you to be able to provide informed consent, based on the comparison to the potential benefit of the desired procedure.
Although the materialization of inherent risks is rare and developing complications is unlikely, these are real events that can occur. Dr. Sinno will help you to understand the risk/benefit profile of your desired procedure.
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HOW MUCH DOES AN EAR SURGERY COST?
The average cost of an earlobe surgery starts at $4,400 plus applicable taxes.