Otoplasty is a procedure designed to pin back the ears closer to the head or reduce their size. This procedure can be performed on younger individuals to avoid being teased from others. This results in more natural-looking ears. Ear reduction surgery may also be performed at a later age. The otoplasty procedure varies with every patient and his/her degree of ear deformity.
The first step to achieving a more desirable ear contour is to meet with Dr. Pertsch at either his San Mateo or Mountain View office to undergo a thorough examination and learn of your options. At this time, questions and concerns can be addressed, and a personalized treatment plan can be created.
The operation usually takes about two to three hours and is performed in an outpatient setting under general or local anesthesia with sedation. During the operation, an incision is made behind the ear to hide any obvious marks of surgical intervention. Multiple, strategically placed sutures are placed to shape the cartilage into normal folds, which were missing pre-operatively. The cartilage is then reshaped using techniques of scoring, suturing, limited removal, or combinations of the three.
The reshaped framework is then repositioned to achieve the best balance with the opposite side and to reduce excessive projection. The skin is redraped, any excess skin is removed, and the incision behind the ear is closed. A gentle pressure dressing is placed to prevent excessive fluid accumulation beneath the skin.
To reduce the swelling or collection of fluid beneath the skin, you will have a dressing placed on your head to put gentle pressure on your ears and maintain their new position. After about two or three days, the dressing will be removed, and all of your incisions will be carefully closed with stitches. Some of the sutures will dissolve while other sutures will require removal in seven to 10 days. You will be able to wash your hair as soon as your head dressing is removed on the second or third day after surgery.
Most patients experience very little pain following their procedure. There will be slight discomfort or soreness, mostly when you bump or move your ears; however, this should subside in approximately a week or two. You will notice some swelling in the ears for two to three weeks following surgery. Most bruising will resolve in the first week or two. During this time, you can cover your ears with your hair.
Results of this procedure can help young patients avoid the possibility of taunting from classmates. Older patients may feel a boost in self esteem after years of enduring teasing.
Please feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pertsch at his Mountain View or San Mateo practice to further discuss the procedure and the options available.
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