¬ Ear Surgery

EAR SURGERY – Otoplasty

Prominent ear is defined as ear cartilages that are perceived far from the bottom of head.  Even vast majority of people think that deformity of prominent ear results from size of ear, all ears have the same sizes. Problem arises because of ear curves (folds) that have not completed their development and prominent ear cartilage. Thus, prominent ears and other deformities are not related to size. Ears’ distance to bottom of head and their angles may vary.

Medically, it does not pose any risk but can severely cause pyschological trauma especially in the childhood.This condition leads to other children’s teasing and negative effect on school life. Prominent ears can be corrected with ear surgery (otoplasty).Ear surgery is a surgical method that is performed to reshape the ears.    

At what age can ear surgery be performed? 

Generally, around 6 years old  when ear cartilage is completed and becomes stable by approxiamately %90, ear correction surgery can be performed. Another reason for performing ear surgery at childhood is to keep away from psychological distress.   Ear correction can be performed when a child is bothered by prominent ears  typically around 6 years old and in future years. Sıklıkla da ülkemizde erişkinlerde  kepçe kulak düzeltilmesi için başvurmaktadır ve 6 yaştan sonraki her yaşta bu ameliyatlar başarılı bir şekilde gerçekleştirilmektedir. Frequently, in Turkey, children and adults undergo this surgical procedure and has being performed successfully. Ear surgery to adults and children may majorly differ in terms of anesthesia method; while requiring general anesthesia or sedation in children , related to patient cooperation local anesthesia alone can be administered in adults.  

Pre-op Initial Consultation

If you are considering ear correction surgery or otoplasty you should seek an experienced plastic surgeon and consult with the doctor.In this consultation you should clearly tell your complaints and expectations with this surgery.

Over the course of consultation  your doctor will evaluate your general health status then your doctor will ask several questions related to this surgery if you have associated hearing loss and if you are on medication. 

Then, your doctor will examine your ears’ shape,position and degree of protrusion. After analyzing conditions that may affect the result of surgery, then, necessary notes are taken.

Considering your expectations and examination findings your doctor will offer you the best and tailor made option and give you detailed information that includes what should you realistically expect from the surgery.Ear deformities vary and there is not a surgical method alone that works for all the cases. That is why, it requires choosing the best option  related to existing deformities. Also, your doctor will explain the surgical method, anesthesia ,the place of operation room(theatre), complication of risks associated to the procedure and pre-op instructions. Before deciding  ear correction surgery ask all the questions and specific concerns until you get satisfactory answers and fully comprehend . In this consultation you may also get a quote. Based on the whole information you got you may finalize  your decision.

Once you decide to go with the procedure you will be asked  to have several tests done . If  test results are normal, the surgery time, date  and  place will be  determined.

How is ear surgery performed?

For the correction of congenital prominent ears there are several methods. Ear deformities vary and there is not a definite  surgical method  that works for all the cases. That is why, it requires better evaluation of ear deformity and understanding the expectation of the patient and discussing the methodological details in terms of different methods to choose the best option. Surgery is performed either local anestesia with sedation or under general anesthesia. For elder child or adults, general anesthesia is unnecessary and local anesthesia is much more useful. If done under local anesthesia or sedation hospitalization is not required.

Typically, the incision lines are well-hidden on the back surface of ears. Related to deformity by using several surgical methods (suture, reduction of cartilage , excision of cartilage or combination of all) ears are repositioned closer to head. After closing the incisions on the back of ears  a dressing is wrapped.

First days of surgery :

Your ears will be wrapped in a bandage after the surgery. It will be removed 3-5 days following surgery. Your head should be elevated 30 degree with pillows while lying down. The first two days after the surgery sensitivity and tighteness is common. From the third day post-op tighteness and sensitivity feeling will decrease gradually. Generally, you may experience pain that can be controlled with simple pain killers. The very first days, if you suffer from throbbing and increasing pain, bleeding and leakage from the operation sites you should contact your surgeon. In this case you will be checked and dressing is changed where necessary. When dressing is removed you may notice that your ears turned pale, slightly  swelled and bruised. You are allowed to take a shower after dressing is removed. On the ears and incision lines on the back of ears you may put some moisturizing oinments. For one week following surgery you are required to avoid lying down on the ears. On the second week post-op you may lie on sides using  a soft pillow. During first week and half of second week you had better put band like tennis player to prevent ears to fold.

When do ears refine?

When dressing is removed you will notice that protruding ears are repositioned closer to head and reshaped. However, in the initial healing phase there may be swelling and bruising. Degree of swelling and bruising varies depending on the procedures done. Gradually, numbness, sensitivity and other discomforts will be subside. Within consecutive weeks swelling is reduced. Folds are more significant and refine their final shape.In the first weeks you should avoid trauma,sun exposure, sauna and solarium.

Prof. Dr. Muhitdin Eski