Otoplasty is the name given to the surgery performed to correct the problems in the appearance of the auricle. With otoplasty surgery, the overly prominent auricle, also known as the prominent ear, can be corrected, as well as the auricle and earlobe, which are underdeveloped or distorted due to congenital or trauma-like reasons.
Prominent ear causes social and mental problems, especially in childhood. Children who enter social environments such as nurseries, kindergartens and schools as they grow up may be exposed to cruel reactions and criticisms due to the appearance of their ears.
Being ridiculed in friend circles, exclusion can lead to problems in self-confidence and personality development; It can cause communication disorders, school failure and a decrease in self-confidence. For this reason, it is generally accepted that the best time for otoplasty surgeries is preschool. Adults may also need otoplasty surgery for reasons such as getting rid of an appearance that can be perceived as a disadvantage in social environments, collecting their hair above their ears or having a short cut comfortably. Otoplasty is a very common facial plastic surgery. It can be performed under general or local anesthesia, with day surgery or a short hospital stay.
Anatomy of the Auricle
The auricle consists of a thin soft tissue and cartilage covered with skin. At the age of five, the auricle completes its development. However, the cartilage content continues to change over the years. Cartilage, which has a softer and foldable structure in young children, becomes harder in older people. The unique shape of the auricle is the result of many folds formed during development in the womb. If some of these folds are not fully developed, prominent ears occur. As with all other facial structures, one ear is not exactly alike to the other. The aim of the surgery is to make the ears less prominent, similar in appearance and more natural.
Evaluation Before Ear Aesthetic Surgery
Preoperative evaluations, surgical technique, and post-operative recommendations may differ between surgeons. The best pre-operative preparation can be achieved by having a candid interview where all questions will be answered completely. Your doctor should understand your expectations and wishes. What can and cannot be achieved with surgery in a clear and realistic way; Asking and learning how the ear will look after the surgery will help you determine your expectations from this surgery. It is very important to determine the time of otoplasty surgery for children. Otoplasty is generally not recommended before the age of five. However, if the surgery is delayed too long, the child may grow up with psychological problems.
High-quality photographs should be taken in order to guide the preoperative interview, to provide the surgeon with the opportunity to compare during the operation, and to compare the results obtained after the operation. If the operation is planned to be performed under general anesthesia, a separate meeting should be held between the patient or their relatives and the anesthetist.
Prominent Ear Surgery
There are many different surgical techniques to correct prominent ear. In children or young patients, shaping can be done with sutures, as the cartilage flexibility is high. In order to give the desired shape to the cartilage, certain areas can be marked and folded, thinned and weakened; If there is excess cartilage or soft tissue, it can be removed. Regardless of the technique applied, an incision is made in the crease behind the ear. This incision is closed with appropriate suture materials chosen considering the aesthetic result and durability. At the end of the surgery, a dressing is applied to apply a slight pressure on the newly formed auricle.
After Prominent Ear Surgery
As with surgical techniques, each surgeon may have different post-operative practices that result from their own experience. Differences in practice do not mean that one method is better than the other. However, the patient is usually seen on the first postoperative day and the dressing is changed or removed. There is usually no serious pain after surgery; Mild pain, which can be controlled with painkillers, can be expected. Headband is applied day and night for one week; for the next few weeks, it is requested to wear the headband only at night. Children can start school after a week, while adults can return to work earlier.