Health

Things to Know about Otoplasty Surgery

People undergo plastic surgery in Tacoma, WA, for a number of reasons. Some plastic surgery is necessary due to trauma, while others choose to undergo surgery to boost confidence by changing something about their ears’ appearance voluntarily. The ears can be a source of embarrassment for different reasons, which is why a plastic surgeon in Tacoma, WA, can perform ear surgery, or otoplasty. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure.

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a surgery to cosmetically change the ear so that its position, size, or shape is altered. Some people may have the surgery because the ears stick out, others may have misshapen ears from injury or from birth. The position of the ears can also be adjusted if they’re uneven or too high or low on the head. Ears that are larger than usual can also be corrected with otoplasty.

Who Is a Candidate?

Otoplasty is typically done after five years of age when the ears are considered full size. This is because before age five the ear’s cartilage may not be stable enough to be properly corrected. Children, teenagers, or adults interested in having this surgery need to be in good health without untreated, chronic ear infections for other illnesses that could impair healing. It’s also important that the potential patient is able to express their concerns about the appearance of their ears as well as the goals they have for surgery outcome.

How Is Surgery Done?

After the consultation is complete, the surgeon will schedule the surgery, which is usually done in an outpatient location. The doctor will decide between local and general anesthesia for the surgery. Incisions are made in different locations, depending on the type of ear surgery you’re having, but they’re typically on the backs or inner creases of the ears. Usually the surgery is two hours or less.

How Is Recovery?

Following the surgery there will be some discomfort and itching, but your plastic surgeon in Tacoma, WA, will recommend pain medication to ease the discomfort. The ears will be bandaged to protect and support the ears but you should be able to leave the surgical center fairly quickly. It’s important to avoid pressure on the ears for a few days. After a few days the doctor will remove the bandages and possibly give you something to wear at night for a week or two to protect your ears. Stitches will either dissolve or be removed a couple weeks after the surgery.

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