Otoplasty performed at the Missoula plastic surgery practice of Dr. Stephen P. Hardy can help patients who are dissatisfied with ears that protrude, are overly large, have been affected by injury, or are misshapen because of a birth defect. As a board-certified plastic surgeon and member of several prestigious medical associations, Dr. Hardy is committed to the highest standard of patient care and satisfaction. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.
Adults. as well as children. can be good candidates for otoplasty. Some adult patients have been unhappy with their ears for a long time, and decide to have otoplasty later in life. Children are often candidates for otoplasty, which can be undertaken around the time they start kindergarten or first grade to help them feel confident in their appearance. Because their ears must be developed to a size relatively close to that of an adult, children are typically considered candidates around the age of six. Otoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons only and does not affect hearing.
Dr. Hardy will choose from among several different otoplasty techniques depending upon the needs of the patient. His skill and experience will ensure that the ear looks natural after surgery. Surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia and a mild sedative for adults, and under general anesthesia for children. In a procedure lasting generally one to two hours, depending upon the extent of the surgery, Dr. Hardy makes an incision behind the ear to expose the cartilage. The cartilage is then reshaped and the excess skin is removed. Any incisions created on the front of the ear can be hidden within the ear folds. If protrusion is being corrected, he will reposition the ear more closely to the head. Finally, the incision is closed and a dressing is applied to protect the ear and minimize swelling and discomfort.
You will be given specific instructions about how to take care of your ears following surgery. The dressings will remain in place for several days, and it can be helpful to wear a headband or bandage over the ears at night. Post-surgery discomfort is usually minimal and can be managed easily with pain medication. Patients should also expect some swelling, which is normal. If any complications arise, they should be reported to Dr. Hardy immediately. After healing, there will be virtually no evidence of scars, since they will be skillfully hidden inside or behind the ear.
When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, the risks associated with otoplasty are minimal. They can include infection, bleeding, poor healing, and changes in skin sensation.
Benefits of otoplasty include an improved appearance and increased self-confidence. This can be especially beneficial to young children, helping them to feel less self-conscious and more outgoing.
Cosmetic ear surgery can make a significant difference in a patient's quality of life. To learn more about otoplasty, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.