Otoplasty

“Sticky-out ears” are certainly one of the most annoying imperfections that can be a source of discomfort for those affected by it. Otoplasty is the aesthetic intervention that solves this problem, repositioning ears correctly and shaping auricle’s pleasant morphology. This surgery does not impair auditory perception, so it is safe and implemented only to treat an aesthetic imperfection. It is possible to operate on one or both ears, adopting different techniques depending on specific cases, which leave no visible signs, but only scars behind the ear pavilion, facing the skull (seldom even on the front side of the pinna, although barely visible).

Pre-operative evaluation is crucial because it enables the surgeon to evaluate the methods of intervention and to infer the postoperative course as well as the relevant, possible complications (pre-operative evaluation includes questions on general health conditions and routinary blood-chemistry examinations, required in any pre-operative situation). Patient will be given a series of directions he must follow such as, for example, the careful washing of his hair the day preceding the surgery.

Otoplasty is a surgical operation that requires anesthesia, which may be local, but also general in the case of particularly small children. The surgery consists in the resection of a small skin ellipse from the rear ear pavilion with subsequent remodeling and repositioning of the auricular cartilage. In about two hours - dressing step excluded - the surgeon operates on cartilage, remodelling it with a scalpel or fixing reconstruction points.

Post-operative phase begins with dressing, which is compressive for a couple of days and the next for about one week. Due to the initial pain, the physician will prescribe further oral analgesic therapy for approximately three days. Hair cannot be washed for ten days because of possible infections, and stitches will be removed within the same time. It is also recommended that during the night the patient uses an elastic band for about one month.

Swelling of the ears for about one month and hypersensitivity of the auricle are the most common consequences the patient faces during post-operative phase. It is crucial to further underline that this type of aesthetic intervention in no way affects auditory perception.

The most relevant problems that may arise in the post-operative period concern possible bleeding and haematomas formation (which need to be immediately drained), infections (treatable with antibiotics) and pathological scars (requiring prompt cortisone treatment). It also may be that the ear returns to its original position, thus requiring a second surgery.

Unless subsequent interventions, related to possible complications, the results achieved are excellent and lasting.