For those of us with ears that jut out awkwardly from our heads, it can sometimes feel like this is the first thing anyone notices about us. If your ears have left you self-conscious about your appearance, it might be worth considering a minor cosmetic procedure to take this stress out of your life and let you move on. At Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery, we offer otoplasty procedures for just this purpose.
What is an Otoplasty?
Although otoplasty actually describes a number of different cosmetic procedures (including ear reduction and reconstructive surgeries), people sometimes use it as a synonym for one in particular: ear pinning. This is the most common procedure of the group, and the one that targets protruding ears.
Ear pinning is a fairly simple process, and can almost always be done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia or IV sedation, rather than general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a small and discrete incision behind the ear, along the natural crease line. Tiny amounts of excess cartilage and skin are removed, as appropriate, and the ear is repositioned more closely aligned to the head. A few sutures, and you’ll be good to go.
Preparation for the Procedure
We’ve prepared a full list of otoplasty instructions, which we highly recommend reading in detail once you’ve made plans to have the procedure done. For those still considering their options, here’s a brief rundown:
You will be prescribed antibiotics and pain management medication, and this should be filled well before the surgery day (in fact, you will be asked to start the antibiotics in advance). Make sure you have somebody to drive you to and from the office, as you lingering effects of anesthetics/sedation will prevent you from being able to operate a vehicle yourself, and don’t eat anything on the day of the surgery.
You’ll want to pick up a snug headband before the procedure – this is very helpful in protecting the ears while they heal for 8 weeks (at bedtime)– and be sure to keep some Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide on hand for gentle cleaning of the incision site.
The recovery process is just as simple as the procedure itself, but there are a few steps you should be prepared to follow during the first couple of weeks in order to maximize the long-term results of your otoplasty.
There will be some swelling and bruising in the initial few days. Keep the dressing on for the first 48 hours, after which you may shower and clean your face and hair (but be very gentle around the ears). Wear your headband over your ears at all times (except when showering) for two weeks. We recommend that you continue to wear it when sleeping for 2-3 months longer. Sutures will be removed in a follow-up appointment. Don’t forget to take your antibiotics as prescribed until the supply has been fully used up!
For professional cosmetic surgery in the Rome, GA area, contact Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today.