According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were nearly 23,000 otoplasties carried out in 2018. An otoplasty is the reshaping of the outer ear. While some people are born with abnormalities and anomalies and choose to go under otoplasty for reconstruction, other people’s ears are simply a source of self-consciousness and they want to approve the appearance of their ears.
Making Eusthacian Tubes Less Prominent with Otoplasty
An otoplasty is an ear surgery that involves folding, reshaping, or replacing cartilage in the ear. When needed, cartilage can be taken from other parts of the body. The outer ear has only a very minor function when it comes to hearing, but it contributes significantly to a person’s appearance. Normally, ears stick out about two to three centimeters from the side of the head, and ears that stick out more than this can feel too prominent and be embarrassing or bothersome to a patient. The ear usually angles out of the head at an angle between twenty and thirty degrees, and when the angle is greater than this, the ears appear more prominent.
Genetic features, health conditions that affect cartilage growth, and injuries can all affect the shape of the ears. If you feel that your ears are too prominent, it can be a major hit to your self-esteem. Sometimes, parents and guardians might turn to otoplasty for their children before they start school.
In fact, most otoplasties are performed on children, though there is no reason why the surgery is not suitable for adults. Doctors suggest waiting until the child is at least five or six years old after most of their ear growth is complete before undergoing an otoplasty.
What to Expect During an Otoplasty
After a consultation, an otoplasty is usually carried out by an ENT surgeon or a pediatric surgeon. The technique for the procedure varies depending on the type of correction that is desired.
1. The patient will usually be under general anesthesia to ensure their comfort during the procedure.
2. A small incision behind the ear is made. Alternatively, incisions might be made within the inner creases of the ears.
3. Stitches may be applied to hold back the outer ear.
4. Depending on the case, excess cartilage and skin might be removed. The cartilage will be folded into the desired position and secured with stitches.
5. The entire procedure takes an hour or two and will likely leave a thin scar behind the ear.
Patients should notice an immediate change in the appearance of their ears following the surgery.
Although the outer ear plays only a very small role in hearing, it can play a large role in someone’s self-confidence. If you are always trying to hide your ears with your hair or even a hat because they cause you embarrassment or psychological distress, talk to your doctor about the possibility of an otoplasty.