Cosmetic ear surgery addresses the outer ear, correcting the appearance of prominent, overlarge, or misshapen ears. Cartilage can be reshaped and protruding ears can be repositioned so that they are lay flat along the sides of the head and are an asset, rather than a distraction. The results of ear surgery in Seattle, when performed correctly, can be life-changing.
Prominent ears are a fairly common aesthetic problem. Children with protruding ears are often teased, and as adults, still feel self-conscious about their ears, taking pains to hide them with longer hair. Ear reshaping surgery medically-termed an “otoplasty,” is a surgical procedure that can make a significant difference in your quality of life.
Many parents find that a good time to meet with Dr. Flugstad about corrective ear surgery is before the child is old enough to become self-conscious about their ears. Other parents choose to wait until the child is older before scheduling ear surgery.
Ear surgery for adults and children in Bellevue
At Flugstad Plastic Surgery in Bellevue, we offer customized ear reshaping surgeries for both adults and children. Every patient is different, and we design a surgical plan that will provide the best possible result.
Are you or your child a candidate for ear surgery?
If you or your child is unhappy with prominent ears, ear reshaping surgery is probably the best next step. Children are usually good candidates for ear surgery at five years of age. Only a consultation and examination in our office can determine if otoplasty can be performed. During your consultation, we will perform a thorough examination and determine what surgical corrections will be required.
What happens during ear surgery?
Incisions are placed inconspicuously behind the ears. Special sutures are used to create the proper fold in the ears and hold them in a more attractive position closer to the side of the head.
A small amount of cartilage may need to be removed to correct prominent ears. Cartilage scoring techniques may also be used to define where the ear bends.
We prefer not to use the term “ear pinning,” because the procedure has more steps than simply fixing the ears to the head. In adults, otoplasty can often be performed using a local anesthetic and light sedation. In children, general anesthesia is usually required.
What is involved in ear surgery recovery?
Most patients need to take a couple of weeks off from school or work after ear surgery. For the first 24 hours, there will be a bandage on your head, which will be removed the next day. After that, a protective headband is worn, but it is inconspicuous and helps to ensure proper healing. You should be back to most activities in about two weeks, but intensive physical activities or sports should be avoided for a month or six weeks to prevent any injury to the ears.
Bruising and some minor pain are to be expected after ear surgery in Bellevue. We can provide a prescription for pain medication if needed to keep you comfortable.
How can I make the recovery period easier?
Recovery can be aided by:
- Managing swelling by sleeping with your head elevated
- Using cold compresses or ice packs to also reduce swelling
- Staying away from any activities that may harm the ear or potentially compromise the results
- Going on gentle walks to increase circulation
- Following all post-surgery care instructions to ensure that recovery goes smoothly and that any complications are avoided