If you are unhappy with the shape, position or size of your ears, then otoplasty – also known as cosmetic ear surgery – is the procedure which can help correct these issues. The otoplasty procedure can be performed at any age after the ears have reached their full size, which is usually after the age of 5. Otoplasty is typically performed on both ears to optimise symmetry. It doesn’t change the location of your ears or alter your ability to hear.
Benefits of otoplasty
An otoplasty procedure may be a solution if:
- One or both ears stick out too far from your head
- Your ears are large in proportion to your head
- You’re dissatisfied with previous ear surgery
What can you expect?
Before the otoplasty procedure:
Otoplasty can be done in a hospital or an outpatient clinic.
Sometimes the procedure is done under local anaesthetic, which only numbs the part of your body where the procedure will take place. Sometimes a general anaesthetic, where you are put to sleep, is required.
During the otoplasty procedure
There are different types of otoplasty techniques depending on what kind of correction is needed. The specific technique your surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.
Your doctor may make incisions:
- On the backs of your ears
- Within the inner creases of your ears
Firstly, your doctor will make the incisions and then remove any excess cartilage and skin, if necessary. The cartilage is then folded into its correct position and secured with internal stitches. Stitches are also used to close the incisions.
Usually, the whole thing will last about two hours.
After the procedure, your ears will be covered in bandages for a few days so that they are both protected and supported.
There may be some discomfort and itching, however, usually, your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication.
When the bandages are removed your ears may be red and swollen initially, nevertheless the otoplasty results will be seen immediately.
There is a risk that you may pull your ears forward when rolling over in bed, so, for between two and six weeks, it is recommended that you wear a loose headband to cover your ears at night.
During the first week after surgery, you may find your ears produce a discharge. This may be thick, dark or red-coloured. You can use a cotton swab and hydrogen peroxide to clean the external part of the ear. However, do not put anything in your ear canal.
Your doctor will give you advice on when, or if, the stitches need to be removed – some may dissolve by themselves. He/She will also advise you when you can resume normal daily activities, such as having a bath or taking part in physical activities.
How can you help the otoplasty recovery process?
Here are some recommendations to make sure your otoplasty experience is a success!
Try not to touch or rub your ears – Be careful you don’t keep touching or rubbing your ears for the first few weeks. This is to ensure that your ears stay in the correct place and that you don’t aggravate the wounds from the incisions. Either of these could delay your recovery period. As your ears will be numb for a while it will be difficult to feel any additional injury. Sleeping on your back will prevent pressure on your ears.
Do wear a headband – After your initial dressing is taken off, you will be given a broad headband (rather like a sweatband) to cover your ears. This headband not only provides protection for your ears but will also keep them in place should they be accidentally bumped or bent. This is especially important if you’ve had setback otoplasty. It is recommended that you wear the headband 24 hours a day for the first couple of weeks and then just during the night for about a month. Wearing button-up tops, rather than those you have to pull over your head, is also a good idea.
Don’t smoke – Smoking and being around others who are smoking can be harmful for your recovery and can lead to poor healing, irregular scarring and a delay in your recovery. Avoid smoking and inhaling others’ smoke for at least two weeks after the procedure.
Keep your head raised – Swelling is a very normal part of the healing process. You can minimise this by keeping your head raised especially when sleeping. A couple of pillows on your bed should be enough. When awake, avoid bending over as this can increase the risk of bleeding. It is normal for swelling to last for one to two months, with residual swelling lasting for up to 6 months.
Don’t scratch the skin around the incisions – When a wound itches it is usually a sign that it is healing and the nerves are regenerating. Try to avoid scratching the wounds at this stage because you could prevent them healing properly.
Avoid extreme temperatures for a few months – As your ears will be numb for a few weeks, you may not be aware of any damage which could take place due to extreme temperatures. This includes things like ice packs (if necessary, use only intermittently) and hair dryers. Tanning can create hyperpigmentation (where some patches of skin are darker than others). When the scars have matured into thin, silvery lines they can be exposed to the sun as normal.
Eat a healthy diet – Although you should always be eating a healthy diet, during the recovery period, in particular, your body needs nutrients and vitamins to heal properly. If it is difficult to chew ‘harder’ food in the few days after surgery, try softer foods, smoothies and fruit juices.
Otoplasty in Poland
The cost of having otoplasty abroad may be considerably lower than in your country. Otoplasty in Poland is a fast and affordable procedure performed by some of the most experienced English-speaking surgeons, with many years of expertise. can give you more information about affordable otoplasty in some of the most respected clinics in major Polish cities like Warsaw and Krakow. Contact us now and ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable advisors about otoplasty in Poland!
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Justyna is a very open person and likes to talk to people. That’s why she decided to become a patient adviser. She has comprehensive knowledge about medical procedures performed abroad.
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