Otoplasty – Candidacy

Prominent protruding ears can create quite a problem for a person leading to decreased self-confidence and disturbed self-image. Although prominent ears are usually functionally intact, they still may be considered abnormal. Once aware of the ear prominence, most people wear long hair in order to cover the auricle. Although various community opinions may exist about the value of cosmetic facial surgery, most people feel that it is OK to “fix” prominent ears. We don’t even notice “normal ears”; but when the auricles are protruding beyond a certain point, this feature becomes distracting. Refer to Otoplasty Deformities for further information.

Maximize Your Health before Otoplasty

Because 95% of otoplasty surgeries are performed in young people, serious medical conditions exist relatively infrequently in this group of patients. We have even performed otoplasty in young diabetics without problems or complications because the medical issue was controlled and routine precautions have been taken. Any condition which may interfere with the body’s normal healing process should be addressed before the elective procedure is performed. In addition, if the patient is a smoker, this habit should be discontinued in preparation of such an important procedure. In addition, routine preparations include a full medical and surgical history, information about medications and nutritional supplements and allergies to medications.

Otoplasty and Your Mind

The mind does play an important role in any elective surgical procedure. We like our patients to be comfortable with their decision to undergo cosmetic ear surgery. Most commonly, this comfort represents itself in a balance of apprehension before surgery and looking forward to the positive outcome. This combination of feelings is normal and bears positive energy before the otoplasty procedure. Every patient should feel good about the choice of plastic surgeon – a sign for a healthy relationship with your surgeon. Free your mind of other occupying life issues as this freedom will contribute to a good overall experience. Don’t rush yourself (or have others rush you) into an otoplasty. If other things take priority at the time, it is OK to postpone your procedure.

Understand the Expected Results after Otoplasty

It is not uncommon that patients older than 13 years or so have been wishing to reduce their ears’ prominence for many years. Commonly, they find themselves in front of the mirror pushing the ears backward wishing “I just want this”. And because one had to look at the prominence for so long, the wish may even be for the ears to “be gone” meaning barely visible from the front view. This wish for over-correction is almost normal but must be resisted. Being able to see the auricles when looking into someone’s face represents a standard appearance; one does not want to replace one deformity with a new one. In order to avoid the “plastered ear look”, our philosophy is “enough but not too much”. At the end, we strive for ears that are not distracting but normal in appearance. We will discuss realistic goals in preparation of your otoplasty procedure and you should voice all your goals and concerns.

Understand the Care Related to Otoplasty

We recommend familiarizing yourself with the process of otoplasty. The treatment course will be outlined to you during your initial consultation and your pre-operative visit. Study the provided written material before your procedure. Fill your prescription before the procedure and have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours. It is desired to feel “self absorbed” during the initial healing phase as this is the time to focus on the recovery. Normally, our otoplasty patients are able to re-enter their private and professional lives after 7 days. Sporting and other stressful physical activities will wait for a minimum of 2 weeks after otoplasty.

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