For many people, adults and children alike, ears are a source of frequent teasing that can ultimately cause a lack of confidence and a complex about their appearance. Because of how ears are positioned on our heads, they are uniquely situated to stand out from the rest of our facial aesthetic. An otherwise perfectly harmonious appearance can become unbalanced with problematic ears.

This is why otoplasty, cosmetic ear surgery, was developed — to help children avoid the impacts of disproportionate ears and help adults solve the aesthetic issues they have dealt with their entire life. Because of its effective results and ability to restore balance to a person’s appearance, it is also a popular procedure that was performed more than 22,000 times in both 2018 and 2019, according to a thorough report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get an otoplasty near El Paso, give our office a call (915) 543-5600.

What Is an Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is ear surgery, but more specifically, it is an outpatient procedure that can improve the shape, size, position and even the proportions of your ears. These improvements can be made if the concerns over the ears derive from genetics or trauma, so anyone who is experiencing discontent with their ear appearance can boost their self-esteem with an otoplasty.

Am I a Candidate for an Otoplasty?

Otoplasty can be performed on virtually anyone older than the age of 5. If you or your child is suffering from overly large (macrotia) or protruding ears, then otoplasty is likely an option that you should inquire about.

But at the end of the day, you should remember that otoplasty is surgery, and while it is usually a safe option for most people, certain factors can prevent someone from candidacy. Since otoplasty is performed on such a wide range of ages, you should also be aware of the specifics of what makes good candidates based on age.

Generally, children are good candidates for ear surgery if they are:

  • In good general health
  • Free from a life-threatening illness
  • Free from chronic ear infections
  • At least 4 years old
  • Able to follow instructions
  • Open and comfortable with ear surgery

Adults and teenagers are good candidates for ear surgery if they:

  • Are in good general health
  • Free from a life-threatening illness
  • Do not smoke
  • Are not performing surgery to make someone else happy

It is also vital for anyone going into an otoplasty (or any cosmetic procedure) to have realistic expectations about what an ear surgery can achieve. Coming into the process with unreasonable goals in mind will only lead to feelings of regret and dissatisfaction with your decision to have surgery, even if the surgery was successful.

You can get a good idea of the kinds of results you can expect by looking at an abundance of before and after photos and doing ample amounts of independent research.

How Should I Prepare for Otoplasty?

During your initial consultation with our office, one of our highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeons will review your entire medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination to get a good idea of your unique anatomy and conditions.

They will then listen intently to your goals for the procedures, your concerns and questions and provide any information that you request. It is always a prudent idea to bring along a written list of questions to ask so that you have as much information as possible early on in the process.

Your surgeon will use this information to develop a specific treatment plan to best achieve your aesthetic goals. At this time, you may be given a list of pre-operative instructions to follow in the weeks or even months leading up to your surgery. Following these instructions helps to increase your odds of having successful and safe ear surgery.

Generally, the instructions include warnings against prolonged sun exposure and tobacco use, but each set of instructions will be tailored to your specific details.

What Should I Expect from an Otoplasty Procedure?

Every otoplasty begins with anesthesia to minimize the pain and discomfort you would otherwise experience during the surgery. Depending on your procedure’s extent, you will be administered either intravenous sedation, general anesthesia or local anesthetic. Your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate option for you prior to the day of your otoplasty.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect on your body, your surgeon will begin your otoplasty by making incisions on your ear. Typically, these incisions are made on the back of the ear, allowing access to the cartilage.

When the protrusion of the ear is the primary concern, your surgeon will focus on increasing the antihelical fold that is responsible for laying the ear flush with your head. When your ears’ size is the issue, then cartilage will be removed and reshaped as necessary to create a more balanced appearance.

Once the incisions and adjustments are completed, your surgeon will close the wounds with dissolvable sutures, making sure to avoid an overly done and pinned back appearance that would look unnatural.

Is There Any Otoplasty Recovery Pain?

Directly after your otoplasty recovery, you can expect to experience minimal pain or discomfort around the incision locations. However, these symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications that will be provided to you during your otoplasty recovery.

It takes somewhere between two and three weeks for otoplasty recovery to run its course, and it is common to experience minimal pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising or soreness during that time. You will be given a set of post-operative instructions to follow to ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

What Otoplasty Side Effects Should I Expect?

While otoplasty surgery is becoming increasingly routine every year, you should always be aware of the possible risks that otoplasty presents. Keep in mind that many of these risks are associated with any surgery and anesthesia and that otoplasty, in general, isn’t any more dangerous than other similarly invasive procedures.

As a result of an otoplasty procedure, you may experience:

  • Asymmetry
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Allergies to recovery elements
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Change in skin sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Poor wound healing
  • Need for revision surgery

What Results Can I Expect from an Otoplasty?

You can expect a significant improvement in the appearance of overly large or disproportionately sized or protruding ears. Since otoplasty is a surgical procedure that reshapes your cartilage, the results will last a lifetime. The scarring for ear surgery is virtually invisible, as it is hidden on the back of the ears or within the cartilage’s natural folds.

Can I Combine My Otoplasty with Other Procedures?

Since otoplasty addresses the overall balance of the facial structure, it is not common to combine it with procedures like facelifts or brow lifts. Instead, many people choose to address multiple parts of the face that they feel impact their facial harmony. Here are some of the procedures that patients combine with otoplasty for a much more dramatically harmonious appearance:

How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?

The average nationwide cost of an otoplasty is around $3,500. But you should keep in mind that your specific cost will depend highly on the extent of your procedure, surgical combinations and your surgeon’s skill and expertise. It might seem like a smart idea to find the cheapest deal you can, but less expensive options usually come at a price of less experience and expertise and a greater risk of needing revision surgery.

You will be provided a more accurate price estimate for your otoplasty during your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.

Achieve Your Desired Aesthetic with Otoplasty in El Paso

If you are tired of dealing with overly large ears or ears that stick out distractingly from your head, then give our El Paso office a call at (915) 543-5600 or fill out our online contact form to get started with your otoplasty procedure as soon as possible.

We know you may need a guide through this process to avoid getting overwhelmed, and we are looking forward to being that resource for you to lean on.

We understand that each patient is different, and at Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso, we offer a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical services to give you the best result possible. When you come to our office, one of our doctors will sit down and discuss your needs and desires for otoplasty. Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Jabor will formulate an otoplasty plan that is best for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation for your otoplasty procedure today.

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