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The procedure to change the shape, size, or position of the ears is called otoplasty. It creates a more natural shape for the ears and brings balance and proportion to the ears and face.
Otoplasty in Charleston, SC, may be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size, which is typically after age 5.
Otoplasty improves the appearance of the ears, which can in turn improve the appearance of the face itself. It corrects the structure of the ears for individuals with larger or smaller ears than normal and can also help correct ears that look folded or cupped, which gives a more natural look to the ears.
An otoplasty surgery takes just about a couple of hours to perform, and the results are permanent. The results do not change with age and time.
What Are the Different Types of Otoplasty?
There are many different types of otoplasty. Here are a few of the primary types:
- Ear Reduction – Macrotia is the terms for a condition where one’s ears are larger than normal. People with this condition can choose otoplasty to reduce the size of their ears.
- Ear Pinning – Some people’s ears stick out prominently from the sides of their heads. Ear pinning otoplasty is done to bring the ears closer to the head.
- Ear Augmentation – Some people suffer from a condition where their ears are not fully developed or are smaller than normal. These people may opt for otoplasty to increase the size of their outer ear.
When to Consider Otoplasty
Some people have overly large ears or ears that tend to stick out, which can be quite bothersome. Protruding ears may occur on one or both sides in varying degrees. Such people can opt for otoplasty to improve the appearance of their ears.
You may also choose to have otoplasty if your ears are misshapen due to either a birth defect or an injury.
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Who Is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
If the following apply to you, you may be a good candidate for otoplasty:
- You are 5 years or older: The auricle (the outer part of the ear) reaches its complete size by age 5 or older. Otoplasty can only be performed when the auricle has reached at least 90% of its adult size.
- You are in good health: Your overall health must be good to be considered for otoplasty. If you have an underlying health condition, it can affect healing or increase the risk of complications.
- You are a non-smoker: Smoking negatively affects the health of the skin and can result in complications. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit several weeks before the procedure and cannot smoke during recovery.
Smoking slows down the healing process by decreasing the blood flow to the concerned area. Non-smokers are considered good candidates for ear surgery.
Your Otoplasty Consultation
During your consultation, you and Dr. Ulm will discuss your goals for otoplasty. Be prepared to discuss your medical records and medical history, including any previous otoplasty procedures or relevant surgeries.
Dr. Ulm will examine your ears and determine if your goals can be achieved using otoplasty. If so, Dr. Ulm will choose the best treatment plan based on your circumstances to achieve ideal results. A date will be set for the procedure.
Specific instructions will be provided so you can prepare for ear surgery. You may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements and make certain changes to your current lifestyle.
The exact details of the otoplasty procedure change depending on the details of the case. Generally, ear reshaping surgery begins with the application of anesthesia to ensure patient comfort. Incisions are then created to give Dr. Ulm access to the underlying tissues. Cartilage and soft tissue are altered to resolve the issues, and then the incisions are closed with sutures.
The Otoplasty Recovery Process
After the otoplasty procedure, the patient can go home but will be bandaged with padding to preserve the new shape and position of the ears. The patient must have someone to bring them home and help during healing for the first day or two.
The patient will have to undergo a recovery period. Follow Dr. Ulm’s post-surgical care directions closely to achieve quality results. There will be a degree of bruising and swelling, and these will subside in time. Taking time off from work will be necessary.
How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?
The cost of otoplasty varies depending on the type of operation performed. If the ear surgery is performed on one ear or both ears, this changes the overall price of the procedure. Health insurance does not typically cover the cost of the operation, but if it is correcting a congenital issue, there may be a chance of coverage.
We offer financing plans to our patients from Prosper Healthcare Lending. This will give you affordable options for your otoplasty procedure.
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Otoplasty in Charleston, SC, can improve your quality of life, so consult with Dr. Jason Ulm to find out if it is the right option for you. Contact our office to schedule your informative consultation.