You shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious about your ears because it’s an attribute you had no control over. If your ears have affected your confidence or have made you unhappy with how you look, there was a solution. At Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas in San Antonio, TX, we offer otoplasty, a procedure that puts the control back in your hands. It can improve the appearance of your ears and, in doing so, improve your confidence.
Are You a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
You may have set your heart on undergoing ear surgery. While we are happy that you may be committed to this procedure, the best way to determine if you are a candidate for otoplasty is to come in for a consultation here at our office. During this consultation, we will discuss your concerns and confirm whether you are a candidate for this procedure.
When you arrive at our office, we will review your medical history as well as the size, shape, and placement of your ears. We will also explain the procedure in detail and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about all that it entails. While an initial consultation is the best way to determine your candidacy, there are some factors that you can consider in the meantime to help determine if otoplasty is the best option for you or your child.
Ear surgery is very specific. It is designed to help improve the appearance of ears in both children and adults and make them more aesthetically pleasing. Not only does it help restore an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the ears, but it also restores confidence. If you have any of these conditions, you may be a good candidate for ear surgery. Ear surgery can address and correct:
- Lop, cupped, or shell ear
- Large or stretched earlobes
- Lobes with unsightly creases and wrinkles
- Natural ear defects
- Ear defects resulting from injuries
- Ear structure defects
At Least Five Years Old
There is both an age minimum and maximum involved with this procedure. Inpiduals who qualify for this procedure must be at least five years of age. At the age of five, the ear has reached 90 percent of its adult size. If you have noticed that your child’s ears look abnormally small or large, he or she may be a candidate for this procedure.
Additionally, if your pediatrician has informed you that your child has structural issues that have affected your child’s ears since birth, your child may qualify for ear surgery. Since the ear must be at or near full growth, five-year-olds are the youngest candidates who are eligible for this procedure.
60s and Beyond
In the same way that there is an age limit regarding this procedure, so too is there an age cap. Ideally, the best candidates should be under the age of 66. However, if you are older than 66 and desire to undergo this surgery, you may not be completely excluded; we will be happy to discuss your concerns during an initial consultation. Good health is the most important factor in determining your candidacy, but generally, the late 60s is the age cap for this procedure.
Another factor that helps determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure is your lifestyle. The best candidates are non-smokers who are in good health. If you smoke, you must stop all forms of nicotine consumption for six to eight weeks before your procedure. It also is imperative that you do not resume smoking during your recovery since it will negatively impact your body and the healing process.
Another important factor in determining whether you are a candidate for this procedure is your health. Good health is essential in any procedure, elective or necessary. You need a healthy heart, healthy lungs, and a strong body to undergo this procedure and recover well. Those with a history of health problems, specifically heart problems, may not be candidates.
Your Medicine Cabinet
You may not think the medications you take on a daily basis determine whether or not you are a candidate for this procedure, but they do. Certain medications and natural supplements can interfere with the success of this procedure and must be temporarily discontinued before and after the surgery.
To qualify as a candidate, you must be willing to refrain from using certain medications and supplements, including blood thinners, before and after your treatment. Our surgeon will give you a better idea of which medications are and are not acceptable for use before and after your procedure during your initial consultation.
Your overall expectations are another critical factor that you must consider before scheduling the surgery. Good candidates should have realistic expectations about the kind of results that this procedure can deliver. During your initial consultation, we will let you know exactly what you can expect by taking measurements of your ears as well as photographs documenting their placement.
Both of these will help us determine the type of results you can expect post-op. Whether your ears are too small or too large, this procedure can help make them more proportional to your head, your face, and your body. It can also correct protruding ears and correct structural issues resulting from genetics, trauma, or other injuries.
You Understand Exactly What the Procedure Entails
This procedure qualifies as an outpatient procedure and does require the use of general anesthesia. A typical procedure will take anywhere from one to three hours to complete, and you will remain asleep throughout the duration of the procedure. The location of your incisions will depend on different factors, including your goals, the current size and shape of your ears, and the aspects of your ears that you want to correct.
You can rest assured that when you choose ear surgery to correct your ears, you won’t have to worry about visible scarring. Your incisions will be purposefully made in discreet locations to avoid visible scarring. Your surgeon will address your ear tissue and cartilage. He may also remove excess skin if needed and fold and re-shape the cartilage. Cartilage may be both transplanted or grafted to create the most proportional ears for your head.
Your Ability To Follow Post-Operative Instructions
Another factor that determines whether you are a good candidate for this procedure is your ability and willingness to commit to following post-operative instructions. Following these directions is critical to a successful recovery. After your surgery is over, you must sleep on your back or your stomach for several weeks to allow your ears to heal. You also need to avoid touching your ears, no matter how tempting it may be.
To avoid harming your ears or interrupting your healing, you should wear clothing that you don’t have to pull over your head. When you come in for your initial consultation, we will provide you with a complete list of pre and post-surgery directives so that you know exactly what to do to prepare and how to recover.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re considering ear surgery, you may have some questions regarding the procedure, your results, and just some general questions. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand everything there is to know about the procedure. If you have any other specific questions not mentioned, you can ask your surgeon during your initial consultation.
Will My Incisions Be Noticeable?
The benefit of this procedure is that there are no visible scars. Regardless of why you choose this procedure, your incisions will be made in one of two places: at the back of the ears or the inside folds. Your surgeon will choose the best location based on your needs and your ultimate goals. There will be no visible scarring, and once you’re ears heal, you’ll never even know you underwent a procedure.
How Long Does It Take To See Results?
Many procedures, predominantly elective cosmetic ones, require that you wait for several months before experiencing your best results. This procedure is just the opposite. Within two weeks, your skin will heal, and your new restructured cartilage will look as good as new.
What Should I Expect During My Recovery?
Once your procedure is over, you will need someone to drive you home and someone who can help around the house for the first 24 hours. You can expect to spend the first day after surgery resting and relaxing. It’s important to invest in your health and recovery during this time, and there are simple ways to do so.
Focus on Health, Wellness, and Rest
Focus on nourishing your body with healthy foods. Drink enough water each today to keep your body hydrated. Get plenty of rest so that you can help your ears heal as quickly as possible. You should feel like your normal self again within a few days of your surgery, but you will still need to take extra care of your ears. You should plan on taking off at least a week of work, but if you’re feeling up to it, you can return to work within two to three days of your procedure.
You should also drink plenty of water before and after your procedure to promote a healthy recovery. You should focus on foods that have high dietary fiber and lean protein to help promote healing. Avoid foods that are high in sugars. Also, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption, and foods high in sodium, since they will impair your body’s ability to recover. Focusing on your health and wellness and is one of the easiest ways to recover as quickly as possible.
Are the Results Permanent?
The benefit of this procedure is that the results are permanent. Sometimes patients who undergo this procedure as children experience further ear growth as adults and may want to take additional steps to address their ears down the road. However, most patients are completely satisfied with the results and don’t need to undergo another surgery to achieve their desired results.
Taking the First Step
Ears that make you feel self-conscious are completely optional, thanks to otoplasty. If you are tired of feeling self-conscious about your ears or you’re concerned about your child’s ears, the results from this procedure can be life-changing. Contact us today at Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas in San Antonio, TX, to learn more about otoplasty and how it can transform the ears that you were born with to the ears you may not have thought were possible.