Otoplasty is a brief plastic surgery with impressive and immediate results. It can be performed easily with local anesthesia. An anesthesiologist is usually present during the procedure, administering neuroleptoanalgesics. The procedure usually corrects deformities of the pinna, which are quite common (prominent ears), but not ageneses or microtias, which accompany hemifacial deformity. The latter involve major surgeries requiring general anesthesia and cartilage transplants. Otoplasty may be performed from 9 of years of age onwards, since the development of the ear has been completed by that stage.
Patients do not need to be hospitalized after the procedure, but are discharged a short while after the surgery has been completed, with an elastic bandage around their head. They follow antibiotic treatment and take painkillers (Depon [active ingredient: paracetamol], Lonarid [active ingredient: acetaminophen], but not aspirin) for possible minimal aches. Severe pain is not justifiable and it may be due to the elastic bandage being on too tight. In this case, it should be loosened. The first redress takes place four days after the procedure, which is when patients may also start washing their hair. No bandages are needed after those four days. For the next two weeks, it is recommended that patients wear an elastic band around the head, covering the ears, when sleeping. Usually there are no sutures and the scar that may arise is hidden behind the ear.
However, it is important that the naturalness of all the components of the pinna (helix, anthelix, concha and scapha of the pinna, tragus and antitragus) and the lobe is preserved. The pinna and the lobe should not be completely pinned to the scalp and the anthelix should no be injured from accidental intraoperative folding of the cartilage.
Useful Facts about Otoplasty
Length of surgery: 30 min – 45 min
Duration of Hospitalization: ODC (one-day clinic)
Return to normal activities: In a few days (4-5)
Postoperative care: First dressing change on the fourth postoperative day. Hair washed on the fourth postoperative day. Application of antibiotic ointment on the operated area behind the ears. No removal of stitches.