Otoplasty is the most frequent operation on the external ear. The operation can be performed after the age of 5, because now the ear has a size close to the adult one. In this way, the problem is solved before the patient enters into a collectivity, avoiding the apparition of some psychic trauma. If the discomfort is severe, the surgery should be carried out earlier in order to avoid the emotional stress of the child when this one goes to school.
The detached ear is the most frequent malformation of the helix and it is usually unilateral. The treatment pursues the obtainment of the symmetry of the external ear. The operated ears should be devoid of visible scars. The most lateral point of the operated ear should be at 1.7 – 2 cm from the head, and the helix should be visible behind antehelix when the ears are watched in front.
The plastic surgery of the ear is performed in order to create or restore the central fold of an ear disproportionately big or prominent.
The surgery can be carried out as an outpatient or inpatient procedure; the anesthesia can be local or general.
The most often used operation of otoplasty is made by performing the incisions behind the ear and removal of skin in order to expose the ear cartilage and to reshape it.
In certain cases, this result can also be obtained without sutures, by loosening the cartilage before folding it and then the incisions are sewn. After intervention, the ears are covered with a compressive head dressing for some weeks that will help the acceleration of the healing process of the scars and the maintaining of the ear in the correct position.
Postoperatively, it is administered for 2-3 days an antibiotic treatment and for the discomfort and pain sensation an analgesic is used.
The stitches are removed 10-12 days after the surgery. Rarely, on the incision line thick scars can occur, pink colored that are more emphasized in patients with accented pigmentation of the skin; in certain cases steroids are topically administered in association with laser therapy.
Postoperatively hematomas can also occur, determined by the skin detaching; they can provoke the pain sensation by pressure over adjacent tissues that would necessitate the re-opening of the wound for their evacuation. This thing can be avoided by application of compressive dressings immediately postoperatively.
The risks and complications of otoplasty are reduced. The operation does not afflict the hearing mechanism.
The obtainment of a perfect symmetry is an unrealistic wish. However, if the differences are significant, a second intervention can be performed. The post-operative results are very good, determining an increase of the confidence of the patient, by improving his/her external appearance.