What Is an Otoplasty?
Also known as ear shaping or ear pinning, otoplasty refers to the alteration of the size or shape of the ears. Patients seek otoplasty largely for aesthetic concerns. This includes ears that are protruding too far outwards from the head.
Another common concern is the proportion of the ears in comparison to the rest of the head, including ears that are too large or too small.
Some patients struggle with “lop ear,” when the top of the ear folds downward or inward. Other patients have what is called a “shell ear,” in which there is no outer curve in the cartilage of their ear. All of these are issues that can be addressed by an otoplasty in Beverly Hills.
Patients may also seek otoplasty after one ear has been affected by a medical condition or injury. It could be that cancer or another issue has led to partial removal of one ear, leaving the ears asymmetrical. This is also true of ears that have been affected by trauma or a physical injury. In these cases, otoplasty can restore a more normal appearance to the ears.
While otoplasty procedures are most often performed on pediatric patients, it is not too late to seek this treatment in adulthood. Adult patients who are unhappy with the way their ears look can have an otoplasty performed at any age.
What You Should Know Before Your Otoplasty
Before you can schedule an otoplasty procedure, I will do a detailed consultation, take a complete medical history and conduct a careful examination and develop a customized plan based on your anatomy as well as your aesthetic goals. I consider age, overall health, emotional well-being, as well as expectations for surgery when evaluating a candidate for this procedure.
As I’ve mentioned before, plastic surgery is not an exact science. Every person has a unique anatomy and their own idea of what their body goals should be. This is why consultations are vital so we can work together to create the best possible plan, customized for your personal needs and goals.
Being upfront and honest with my patients is a top priority of mine. If I feel that you are not a good candidate for an otoplasty, I will advise you on any alternative options. If I find that you are a good candidate, we can begin creating your unique treatment plan.
Prior to your surgical date, you will need to obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician. This may include diagnostic testing, blood panels, and a complete physical examination. Medical clearance ensures that you are healthy enough to go under anesthesia for surgery.
What Happens During an Otoplasty in Beverly Hills
Before your procedure begins, we will once again discuss your desired outcome in the pre-operative area. I will mark your ears to show you exactly where your incisions will be. After this, we will begin the surgical process.
What Kind of Anesthesia Is Used?
An otoplasty in Beverly Hills is performed under general anesthesia to provide optimal comfort. I may also use a numbing solution on the ears and surrounding skin to minimize any discomfort upon waking from surgery.
Some patients who need very minor alterations to the ear may be able to have their procedure performed with just local anesthesia. This is a much simpler procedure that is significantly shorter in duration and does not require an extensive medical clearance beforehand.
The Surgical Procedure
During your otoplasty procedure, I will use 3.5X microscopic examination to get the most precise visual of your ear structure. This helps to create the most natural-looking result that flatters your appearance.
To begin your otoplasty procedure, I will make discrete incisions either on the back of the ear or within the inner crease of the ear. The placement of your incisions will depend on the alterations that are being made to the ear.
If the ears are being pinned back closer to the ear, incisions may be on the back of the ear. If cartilage is being removed to reduce the size of the ear, incisions may be on the inner crease.
Another issue that patients may have is stretched or torn earlobes, either from injury or wearing heavy earrings. If this is the reason for otoplasty, I will remove stretched or excess earlobe tissue and create a smaller, more appealing lobe.
How Long Does an Otoplasty Procedure Last?
An otoplasty in Beverly Hills can last anywhere from two to three hours, depending on the extent of the procedure. Some patients are in need of more extensive alterations to the ear, which requires a longer surgical process.
Otoplasty Recovery and Results: What to Expect
Otoplasty in Beverly Hills is an outpatient procedure, which means that you will be able to return home the same day your surgery is performed. You will have to remain in our surgical aftercare center upon awakening.
Once you are fully awake, you will be discharged to return home.
How Long Does Otoplasty Recovery Last?
After your otoplasty procedure, there will be bandages around your ears to provide protection and support. These will remain for about one week after your surgery before being removed. Your stitches will be removed about one week after surgery.
You will have minor swelling and redness around the ears, which will gradually subside in the first two to three weeks.
It is important to avoid any trauma to the ear in the first few weeks of your recovery. Avoid strenuous activity and exercise. Try to sleep on your back instead of on your side, so that no excess pressure is applied to either ear.
You may need to wear a loose headband that covers your ears after the bandages are removed.
Once the swelling and redness has subsided, you will be able to see the results of your otoplasty. These results are permanent and will not change over time, unless there is trauma to the newly constructed ear.
Does an Otoplasty Leave Scars?
I have developed a detailed and meticulous technique that results in nearly invisible scarring for otoplasty in Beverly Hills. Since I make your incisions in discrete creases of the ear, you can hide them very easily after you’ve healed from your surgery.
I also incorporate a comprehensive scar treatment plan into the recovery process. About two weeks after your procedure, you will begin scar treatment that involves specialized medications and products.
These products work together to fade any scarring so your incisions will be nearly invisible. This is important for many patients who worry that others will know they had surgery.
Is an Otoplasty Strictly for Cosmetic Concerns?
Most patients seek otoplasty for aesthetic reasons. It may be that their ears are too small or too large, making them out of proportion with the rest of the head. Other patients have ears that protrude forward too far, sticking outwards from the head.
In some cases, patients may need an otoplasty performed after the appearance of one ear has been affected by a medical concern. If cancer or another condition has led to partial removal of the ear, otoplasty can help reconstruct the ear to create a more normal appearance.
Can Other Procedures Be Combined with an Otoplasty?
Patients typically have otoplasty in Beverly Hills on its own, but this procedure can sometimes be performed alongside certain other treatments. If you are interested in procedures like a facelift, neck lift, or other cosmetic treatment, we can discuss this during your consultation.
Will Insurance Cover My Otoplasty in Beverly Hills?
Since otoplasty is largely considered a cosmetic procedure, it will not be covered by most insurance providers. There are rare circumstances in which an otoplasty may be deemed medically-necessary and receive partial coverage.
With that being said, Dr. Cat’s office does not accept insurance, but they can provide you with the paperwork you will need to submit a claim to your insurance after your surgery has taken place. Before scheduling a plastic surgery procedure, make sure to check with the surgeon’s office about whether insurance is accepted.
Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives to an Otoplasty Procedure?
There are no non-surgical alternatives to otoplasty. Only surgical intervention can alter the shape, size, or placement of the ears. The only time that non-surgical alternatives like splinting are effective are when they are done shortly after birth.
Am I a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
If you are unhappy with the size, shape, or position of your ears, you may be a good candidate for otoplasty in Beverly Hills. This applies to patients whose ears have been affected by injury or a medical condition as well.
The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for otoplasty is to schedule a plastic surgery consultation. I will evaluate the current structure of your ear to determine if you would benefit from an otoplasty procedure.