Marvel comic book fans would immediately identify with the unconventional name of this aesthetic procedure as it bears resemblance with the moniker of a famous bad guy of the comic world. But rest assured that a passing resemblance is the only thing common. Otoplasty is the medical denotation (derived from Greek language) of ear reshaping. The procedure which may be surgical or nonsurgical varying on case to case basis entails altering the appearance of a person’s out ears. Otoplasty can rectify deformed, defective or absent ears (microtic) and even ears that are misshapen due to trauma. Depending on individual case, Otoplasty can improve the shape, position of the ear bringing it closer to the head (ear pinning) and adjust the proportion of the ear with respect to the facial contours.
Why people mostly opt for Otoplasty?
Majority of people opting for Otoplasty wish to have the size of their ears reduced. The outer ear can sometimes give the appearance of sticking out which looks unaesthetic and might erode the self-confidence of that individual. This sticking out is caused by few reasons all associated with “Pinna” the outer ear.
Overly developed cartilage
The pinna is made purely of cartilage. Cartilage is the flexible and soft stuff the outer ear is made of. It’s a connective tissue found in areas of the body such as joints between bones, ears and nose etc. The pinna might stick out because of excessive cartilage giving the ear a prominent appearance.
During the early development stages the ridge of cartilage at the top of the ear fails to fold properly. This causes the outer edge of the ear to stick out rather than fold inwards towards the head.
Trauma / Injury
Injury sustained directly to the ears can also alter their appearance and proportion to the rest of facial features making them stick out.
How does Otoplasty alleviate these conditions?
Otoplasty is mostly done by oral and maxillofacial surgeon, plastic surgeon, or ENT surgeon. One thing that is commonly emphasized by all these medical professionals is that Otoplasty should be carried out when the ears have fully developed which is mostly around 5 years of age. Depending on the condition of the pinna and in light of the above described conditions, the patient has the option to choose from the following forms of Otoplasty:
Ear augmentative Otoplasty: Augmentative Otoplasty addresses underdeveloped cartilage or absent ears due to congenital disorder known as microtia.
Ear pinning or Otopexy: The prominent or sticking out ears are nipped back into shape. This procedure is also known as “flattening” of the ears. The surgery entails making incision behind the ear to access the cartilage. The cartilage is then folded inwards to proper position (with respect to facial symmetry) and secured in place with the help of stitches. This may also warrant removal of excessive skin and cartilage from the spot.
Ear reduction: This form of Otoplasty is done in case of overly developed pinna, a condition known as macrotia.
Key facts regarding Otoplasty:
Otoplasty is usually done casino canada under sedation supplemented by local anesthesia. General anesthesia might be prescribed for younger patients. The procedure can last from 1-2 hours. After the surgery the patient is made to wear a loose headband at night. This is done to ease off tension of the operated ears. After only 1 week of surgery the patient can revert back to their normal routine. Strenuous physical activities like working out can be resumed only after 2 weeks however, contact sports which might cause trauma to the ears are to be strictly avoided for 3 months.
Scarring: During Otoplasty the incision are in most cases made behind the ear which keeps them out of sight. The scar caused by the incision will fade with progression of time.
Being a surgical procedure, Otoplasty can cause some complications such as:
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