Eliminating The Dumbo Stigma Through Otoplasty

otoplasty_FAQ's-1People can be mean sometimes. If they see something different about a person’s appearance, they may laugh or ridicule that person. And in some cases, a person may be bullied because he looked different. Society and culture may be at fault because we are living in a society that is bombarded by the beauty standards set by Hollywood and looks are given premium instead of character. Let’s say for example, people with prominent ears. These groups of people will surely get taunts at school or the workplace. The names “Dumbo” or “Mickey Mouse” will be connected to them because of their looks. Some may be born with prominent ears and some may have experienced traumas, injuries or accidents that made their ear look different from normal. Whatever the reason may be, Otoplasty may be the answer.

What Is Otoplasty And What It Can Do? Otoplasty is defined as the surgical or non-surgical procedures that are performed in correcting the deformities and defects of the external ear. It is also done in reconstructing  defective, deformed and a non-existent external ear that can be a result of traumas, injuries or congenital conditions. The procedure can also mean reshaping or reforming of the ear. The term is commonly used to describe ear pinning of the ears to be surgically closer to the head. It can also be performed to augment abnormally small ears (the medical term is microtia). Otoplasty can be cosmetic or reconstructive in nature. The procedure can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size or if it already fully developed, usually after the age of 5 through adulthood.

Otoplasty Preparation

Once you have consulted your trusted plastic surgeon and a personalized surgical plan has been made, there are some things that you need to do to make the surgery successful and to minimize possible risks. Otoplasty is commonly performed under general anesthesia and can be done as an outpatient procedure. Any blood thinning medications or supplements should be prevented at least a week before surgery. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions on when to discontinue these medications and supplements prior to surgery. You will be requested to stop eating solid foods and drinking water at midnight, the night before the procedure. Some hospitals  may allow other patients to drink clear liquids two hours before the surgery.

Types Of Otoplasties

  1. Cosmetic Otoplasty

Ear pinning and ear reshaping are the standard procedure for this kind of surgery. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic and can be combined with a sedative for adults. For kids, general anesthesia is administered. For ear pinning, the cosmetic surgeon makes an incision behind the ear to reveal the ear cartilage. The cartilage is reshaped to the required look and the excess skin is removed. In most cases, the ear is repositioned nearer to the top of the head, then the incision is closed using sutures. The procedure will last from an hour to 2 hours, depending on the patient’s ear condition. There are 2 differing types of ear pinning utilized in the surgery. The technique can depend upon the number of corrections the patient’s need.

Cartilage scoring. This involves creating incisions within the cartilage to add, take away or re-arrange the external ear tissues. There’s a higher risk of scarring using this method, however, it’ll still be onerous to notice.

Cartilage sparing. This method uses sutures and stitches in changing the looks and position of the ear. This can be a non-invasive procedure that provides an additional natural-looking effect.

  1. Reconstructive surgery

This kind of reconstructive surgery focuses on severe ear defects due to  birth defects and different kinds of outside trauma. An entire ear reconstruction is often performed in four stages and every stage involving one or 2 procedures. To attain the expected result and to make sure a quick recovery, plastic surgeons typically perform the stages in intervals of two to three months. Burns, lacerations, infections or torn piercings are some of the common traumas to the ears. A reconstructive ear surgery is important  in treating and bringing back the normal functions of the ear. The extent and length  of the surgery will depend on how serious the trauma. Seeking immediate medical attention is the most vital factor that anyone can do to protect the sensitive inner ear.

Stage 1. This stage involves  moving a healthy cartilage from the ribs of the patient and the cartilage is then placed in a pouch of skin beneath the distorted or broken ear. The operation takes about four to five hours to complete. The patient is required up to 3 day hospital stay.

Stage 2. This stage involves making new earlobes for the patient. The operation is an outpatient procedure and takes about an hour to complete.

Stage 3. The reconstructed ear is then raised from the facet of the head and then followed by applying a tegument or skin graft  to the ear’s undersurface. The graft is small and is often taken from the patients upper buttock. A protecting dressing is then created to hide the grafts as it heals. It’s a 2 hour outpatient operation and the sutures are removed after a week.

Stage 4. To give the appearance of a standard ear canal, the cosmetic surgeon makes a gap within the ear’s center cartilage frame. More modifications are going to be created to attain balance and symmetry on the contours of the ear. The operation last for two hours and the sutures are removed after a week.

Just like any surgery, Otoplasty involves certain risks, but in general, it is a very safe procedure. Even though Otoplasty changes the shape and appearance of the outer ear, it will not result in hearing loss or hearing changes. Otoplasty will not also restore loss of hearing. Whatever the reason, a patient should be prepared for the surgery.