In the world of cosmetic surgery, one of the procedures thatâ€™s seldom mentioned is otoplasty, which is plastic surgery for the ears. Otoplasty is a procedure thatâ€™s most commonly performed on young children, from age four to age fourteen. Generally, the purpose of an otoplasty is to correct something like protruding or misshapen ears, but itâ€™s also used to fix conditions like lop ear (where the top of the ear hangs over), shell ear (where the ear lacks normal curves), or just abnormally large earlobes.
How Ear Surgery is Performed?
Recent medical advances have made ear surgery a relatively simply process. A surgeon begins the procedure by making an incision at the back of your ear. This gives the surgeon full access to the cartilage that determines the structure of your ear. Sometimes, some cartilage is removed. In other cases, itâ€™s simply shifted around. Alternately, sometimes the surgeon just needs to cut away skin to fix a problem. In most cases, an otoplasty will take no more than three hours, except in more complex operations.
Recuperating After Ear Surgery
It takes most people about a week to recover from an ear surgery. Adults receiving the surgery can generally go home the same day, but doctors may insist a child has an overnight stay for added safety. When the surgery is complete, the patientâ€™s head will be bandaged. Itâ€™s important that care is taken in handling the bandaging until it comes off, three to five days later. Sometimes, the bandages will be replaced by a headband like covering that will continue aiding the healing process.
Fees for Otoplasty
In the cases of some ear deformity or birth defect, insurance companies will often cover some or all of the costs associated with otoplasty. If, for whatever reason, it is not covered, you can expect the bill to be upwards of $2,000, possibly as much as $5,000 for the surgery. The total cost will ultimately depend on the complexity of the procedure and the skill of your surgeon.
Complications and Side Effects
As is the case with almost all cosmetic surgeries, side effects post-op can include swelling and pain in the altered area. If the pain is severe, your doctor will most likely prescribe a painkiller to ease it. More serious complications can develop, such as infection or blood clots. Fortunately, such cases are very rare, and the vast majority of these operations are completed without a hitch.