Many people are plagued by ears that are irregular in size or shape. For some, this will even affect their hearing. Otoplasty performed by Dr. Steven Carp at his Green and Beachwood, OH clinics can help people from Akron and Canton gain a positive self-image and improve hearing.
What is Ear Surgery?
Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a surgical procedure that changes the size and shape of the ears. Unfortunately, many children and adults are subjected to unkind comments because of their ears. The experience is traumatic at any stage of life. Dr. Carp may recommend ear surgery to correct ears that have the following characteristics:
- Are too large when compared to other facial proportions
- Are misshapen due to congenital defects or injury
- Excessively stand out from the head
The surgery is commonly performed for cosmetic reasons, but in some cases, the size and shape of the ears may interfere with hearing. Dr. Carp most often recommends ear surgery for children between the ages of 4 and 14, but otoplasty is also appropriate for adults.
If You Are Considering Ear Surgery
Because plastic surgery is primarily elective, you should fully understand how ear surgery will help you or your child both physically and emotionally. Ear surgery can help improve self-confidence and reduce teasing and bullying. However, we advise our patients that low self-esteem may be a problem even after surgery.
A confidential and private consultation with Dr. Carp helps you have realistic expectations of the surgery. He also offers compassionate and professional guidance on any emotional issues that cannot be remedied with plastic surgery.
Planning for Ear Surgery
After years of working with younger patients, Dr. Carp understands that successful outcomes from ear surgery are largely dependent upon the child’s perspective of it. For this reason, he often recommends leaving the choice for surgery up to the child. Many children prefer not to change their appearance and adjust well. Others, though, may wish to improve the size and shape of their ears to avoid bullying. When children do opt for surgery, their demeanor and attitude about the procedure is much more positive.
Allow your child time to engage with Dr. Carp during the consultation. Children often have greater insight than adults believe, and you may be surprised at the level of maturity and consideration that your child demonstrates. You should also speak openly and candidly with Dr. Carp to ensure that the surgery is right for your child.
If you decide that ear surgery is the right option, Dr. Carp will explain the technique he will use to improve the ears. He also provides details about post-surgical care.
Types of Anesthesia
Younger children typically tolerate surgery the best when general anesthesia is used. Your child slowly falls asleep and awakens once the surgery is complete. For adults and even some children, Dr. Carp recommends local anesthesia to numb the area and a sedative to help the patient relax.
Your Ear Surgery Procedure
Dr. Carp may recommend surgery on both ears, even if only one ear is problematic. The reason is that making corrections to both ears ensures balance and symmetry. The plan for ear surgery is tailored to the unique needs of each patient. Generally the surgery takes three hours or less, but it may last longer. Based on his expertise, Dr. Carp will choose a technique that facilitates the necessary corrections to the ears while reducing the visibility of scars.
The internal structures of the ear, such as cartilage, can be accessed by making incisions behind the ear. By removing cartilage, skin, and other tissues, Dr. Carp is able to reduce the size of the ears and create a new, more proportional shape. He may also use sutures to “pin” the ears closer to the head.
How Much Does Ear Surgery Cost?
Ear surgery is considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make ear surgery affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Getting Back to Normal
You can return home the same day as your surgery, and you may be groggy for up to 24 hours. We recommend that someone drive you home and stay with you for the first few days. Dr. Carp will wrap your head and ears in bandages to help with healing and prevent injury. You may have some discomfort, so he may prescribe medications or recommend an over-the-counter remedy. After three days, you should return to our office for a follow-up, at which time the bandages will be removed. Dr. Carp will then examine the incisions and apply a lighter bandage wrapping to your head and ears. Seven days after surgery, he will remove the lightweight bandages and sutures.
Adults who undergo ear surgery should remain at home for five days, and children need to stay home from school for approximately one week. Full healing takes about four to six weeks, so you should take great care to protect your ears during that time.
Other Ear Problems
Ear surgery at Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center is also recommended for more extensive problems with ear shape and size, such as the following:
- Ear tips that fold forward and down, known as “lop ear”
- Irregular shape to the outer ear curve, known as “shell ear”
- Extremely small ear shape, known as “cupped ear”
- Reconstructive procedures for birth defects and trauma
Ear surgery can also repair enlarged, stretched, and torn earlobes.
More Natural-Looking Ears
After surgery, the ears are well-balanced with your child’s facial features and head size. Symmetry and shape are also more attractive and natural. Best of all, your child feels more confident.
Although often performed on children, otoplasty is suitable for patients of all ages when performed by an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Steven Carp. To find out more, patients from Akron, Cleveland or Canton should contact his Green or Beachwood, OH clinics, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center.