Ear Sculpting Advantages, Procedure & Recovery Steps
What is ear sculpting?
Also known as otoplasty, ear sculpting is a cosmetic surgery which is performed to reshape the ears and give them a more proportionate appearance. It is often performed in children between the age of 4 to 14 years old, although some adults also may choose to undergo the surgery. Protruding ears, large earlobes and other such structural abnormalities of the ear can be corrected with an otoplasty. If the ears have become misshapen due to an injury or a birth defect, then an otoplasty can be done to treat the ears. An ear correction surgery can boost your self-esteem and make you more confident.
What are the conditions treated by ear sculpting?
- Injuries and trauma – Injuries caused by animal or human bites and industrial accidents such as chemical or thermal burns can cause problems to your ear. This can be corrected with an ear surgery.
- Protruding ears – The most common condition which is corrected by ear sculpting, is protruding ears. This may be present from birth due to an overdeveloped concha or an underdeveloped antihelix. Both these conditions can cause the ears to stick out. To correct this deformity, an ear pinning surgery or an otoplasty can be performed. Protruding ears can often make children or adults a subject of teasing and taunting, lowering their self-esteem.
- Microtia – A congenital defect, this occurs when either one or both the ears are underdeveloped. A person’s hearing ability is also impaired due to this defect. Correction of this condition would require three to four operations.
- Hemifacial microsomia – When the tissues of one side of the face aren’t developed properly, it is called hemifacial microsomia. This congenital defect affects the ears, along with the mouth and teeth. The facial structures would have to balance in such a situation and reconstruction of the ear would require three to four corrective surgeries.
- Stahl’s deformity – In this condition, the ear has a pointed appearance due to an extra fold of cartilage. Also called a Vulcan ear (referring to the character from Star Trek), this can be corrected with a non-surgical treatment using ear moulding techniques if identified during the first few days of an infant. If not, surgical treatment would be performed once the child reaches the age of 4-5 years old.
Who should get an ear sculpting?
Children, who would be good candidates for an ear sculpting surgery are –
– Overall health is good and does not suffer from any life-threatening disease or a chronic ear infection that hasn’t been treated
The conditions for adults is the same, but they should be non-smokers and healthy, in general.
How ear sculpting is performed?
An otoplasty is mostly an outpatient procedure and you are most likely to be discharged on the same day. The procedure takes about two hours. Different types of procedures would be performed for different ear deformities.
– Ear Pinback – The most common type of otoplasty is done to correct overly protruding ears. In this type of otoplasty, the surgeon will administer anaesthesia and go on to make an incision at the back of the ears. The cartilage is exposed, and the surgeon then removes a small piece or reshapes the structure. After that, the cartilage is moved towards the head. In a cartilage-sparing otoplasty, after removing the skin the cartilage is spared and then sutured back on itself. After the procedure, the incision is closed and then covered with a sterile dressing. Basically, the ears are “pulled” towards the cheeks. This cartilage ear treatment in India is offered by Apollo Cosmetic Clinics.
– Ear Augmentation – This type of otoplasty is for those who have ears that are either oversized or too small. With this surgery, your ears can get more structure and the symmetry can be balanced with your face. In this procedure, cartilage is taken from another part of your body and added to your ears. This is the best cartilage ear treatment for those who have malformed ears or ears that have become disfigured due to some injury or trauma.
– Ear Reduction – In this type of surgery, some of the outer tissue is removed from the ear. This is done to correct the abnormal size of ears, which may be due to a condition such as microtia. All in all, your ears look more proportionate to your face, after this surgery.
– Earlobe Repair – If your earlobes are stretched or torn, it can be stitched back together.
What preparation is needed for ear sculpting surgery
Before going ahead with ear sculpting, you would meet our doctors at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics, where you would inform them about all your concerns. You will be asked about why you want to undergo the procedure, what your expectations are, and what is your desired outcome from the procedure. The doctor will also ask you about any medication that you are currently taking, whether you have any allergies and if you’ve undergone any medical treatments or surgeries. Then, the doctor will perform a physical examination where he will analyse your ears and your face, to check for balance and symmetry and accordingly, an ear sculpting procedure will be customised just for you. The doctor will also explain to you all the risks and complications associated with the procedure. You can ask them about any query or doubts that you have.
You are supposed to follow all the instructions given to you by your doctor, as you prepare for an otoplasty. If you take NSAIDs, herbal supplements or blood-thinning medication, you will be asked to stop taking these temporarily, a few weeks before the surgery. If a child would be undergoing the procedure, then the surgeon will make sure that they communicate well with the child and make him comfortable. Since otoplasty is a less-invasive procedure, adults would be given local anaesthesia and a sedative for the surgery, whereas children are given general anaesthesia. Therefore, you will be advised to not eat or drink anything, at least 8 hours before the surgery. Also ask someone to drive you back home, after the surgery and keep items such as an ice pack, pain relievers and a gauze bandage, ready at home.
On the day of surgery, you should wear clothes that are comfortable and loose-fitting. Avoid wearing anything that would be difficult to pull over the head. Leave all your accessories at home and wash your hair in the morning, prior to surgery. Avoid wearing any makeup.
What are the benefits of ear sculpting?
An ear sculpting surgery is done mostly for aesthetic and cosmetic perspectives, to correct different deformities pertaining to the ear such as a protruding ear. It is a very safe procedure and children at the age of 5 and above can easily undergo this procedure.
The biggest benefit of an otoplasty is the boost in self-confidence that patients get, after the surgery. Children and adults with deformities in the ear can experience teasing and be made fun of, which can affect their self-esteem. With an otoplasty, their issues can get corrected permanently. Thus there are physical as well as psychological benefits of an ear correction surgery. The patient’s perception of their life changes since they’re no more a laughing subject and they can feel normal, after getting an otoplasty.
What are the risks and complications of ear sculpting?
Usually, an otoplasty is a relatively very safe procedure, but nevertheless, every procedure has certain risks and can give rise to complications. The risks of an ear sculpting surgery are –
– Anaesthesia risks
– Swelling of the skin
– Blood clots
– Revisional surgery
These complications occur very rarely and patients are satisfied with their results. Your doctor at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics would prescribe to you a pain reliever and an antibiotic, to prevent any infections.
If you experience fever, excessive swelling and bleeding and if there’s trauma to the site of the surgery, you should contact your doctor immediately.
How long does it take to recover after ear sculpting?
Once the procedure is done, you will be taken into the recovery area and the hospital staff at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics would be monitoring you closely. To protect your ears, they’ll be covered in a bandage after the surgery. You would have to keep the bandages on for at least a week. For a while, you would experience some itching and discomfort, for which you would be prescribed medication by your doctor. You will be discharged on the same day, once you recover from the anaesthetic.
Once you reach home, you should take rest using 2 to 3 pillows and keep your head elevated. This will reduce the swelling or oedema. You should avoid consuming hot liquids. Eat light, soft foods and do not gorge on food, or you may end up experiencing postoperative nausea and vomiting.
After the bandage is removed, you will be asked to wear a headband over your ears. This is for protecting your ears and providing support. The headband should be worn for at least two weeks, all day and night, after which you can wear it just at night, for about a month. You should also wear clothes that are button-up so that your ear is safe while you are dressing up. You should ensure that you don’t sleep on your side or you may end up putting pressure on your ears. You may feel better, a day or two after the surgery but it is recommended that you take rest for at least a week. Avoid any strenuous activity that might cause your ears to bend. Children who’ve undergone an ear sculpting surgery, can go back to school within a week and adults can resume their work, five days post the surgery.
You should be extremely careful that you avoid scratching the incision lines, as it can get itchy. You may notice some discharge coming out of your ears, but there is no reason to panic. It is just your ear draining out some fluid. Also ensure that you avoid going out in the sun or extreme temperatures for at least a month or two, and maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet.
You will be asked to visit the doctor at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics for follow-up appointments, where he will check the progress and if there are unusual symptoms.
What are the results you can expect after ear sculpting?
Once your bandages are removed, you will see the difference in the appearance of your ears, immediately. These changes are permanent, so you would not have to undergo treatment again and again. You would notice some swelling and it may seem that your ears are a little farther from the head, but as time will pass, they’ll take the correct position. Little improvements may be needed, going on for up to a year, but if the patient follows all the instructions, the results will last permanently.
How much does ear sculpting cost in India?
In India, the cost of an otoplasty majorly depends on the type of procedure being performed and the deformity of the ear that is being corrected, starting from about Rs. 1,10,000.
- Are the scars from an otoplasty visible?
Surgeons tend to minimise the visibility of a scar from otoplasty, but it may be seen if you’re sporting a ponytail or if you have short hair.
- Does ear sculpting affect the hearing ability?
An otoplasty procedure or ear sculpting procedure will not affect a person’s hearing ability in any manner.
- Does a person need to cut their hair or shave off their head, before getting an ear plastic surgery?
Since the incisions are made at the back of the ear, it is not necessary that you shave your head or even cut your hair. The procedure works fine for patients with long hair too.
Why Apollo Cosmetic Clinics?
We at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics to provide the best treatments for ears to our customers at affordable prices. Our surgeons are highly-skilled in the area and a team of doctors will come together to work on each individual case. As per your requirements and physical evaluation, the treatment plan will be suggested to you. At Apollo Cosmetic Clinics, we care about the health and well-being of our patients and strive to achieve excellence.