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Otoplasty - Overview

Otoplasty is a plastic surgery in which the ears are pinned closer to the head or their size is reduced because they are too big. This surgery is commonly performed in children and teenagers. Still even young adults may decide for this surgery in order to improve the appearance of their ears.

This surgery is basically aesthetic but, it is also performed to fix certain congenital deformities and is also performed in people whose ears have been deformed by trauma or bad habits of ear pulling. Toddlers may pull their ears and if this lasts long enough it may interfere in normal appearance of the ears and result in stretched earlobes. 

The best candidates for otoplasty are physically and emotionally healthy people with ear deformities and those who wish to improve the appearance of their ears. Otoplasty may be problematic in people who are suffering from keloids, hypertrophic scarring and those suffering from autoimmune illnesses.

Recovery Time after Otoplasty

The recovery time after otoplasty does not last long. The most important issue is not to disturb the bandages and operated ear/ears. This particularly refers to small children who simply cannot be explained not to touch their ears or move bandages.

After the surgery the patients commonly suffer from stinging sensations and pain. These may last for a week and can be alleviated by prescribed pain killers. The process of healing is usually accompanied by stinging and itching sensations. This is why children cannot avoid touching or even rubbing their ears. Numbness of the operated area may linger up to 2 or 3 months.

The head is wrapped in bandages. These bandages pressure ears and hold them in the desirable position. They also prevent damage to the wounds and infection of the surrounding area. The bandages are removed 3 to 5 days after the surgery. Patients and parents must pay close attention not to wet the bandages. Ears are not to be touched either. The removal of the bandages is done at doctor's office. The surgeon cleans the incisions and then applies a light gauze dressing. Dressing is required to prevent further damage and accelerate the process of healing. Gauze dressing needs to be worn for a few more days.

Once the patient stops wearing gauze dressing he/ she is supposed to wear a sweat band. Sweat bands are worn only at night. They need to be worn for 6 weeks after the surgery.

Patients may engage in normal daily activities a couple of days after the surgery. Strenuous activities are forbidden for a little longer (approximately 3 to 4 weeks) and contact sports may start only 6 weeks after otoplasty.

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