Otoplasty: aesthetic surgery of the ears

Last update on Aug, 30, 2021

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure used to rectify ear imperfections: from floppy ears to oversized or malformed ears.

How does an otoplasty work?

The procedure involves an incision in the back of the pinna in order to reshape the cartilage. In most cases, a small piece of cartilage from the inner ear is also removed. The operation lasts approximately an hour. It is painless and leaves no visible scars as the incisions made are hidden behind the ear.

What to do after otoplasty?

The postoperative period for an otoplasty does not require any complex treatment. Once the operation is over, it is best to rest for 48 hours and then gradually return to a regular return, avoiding excessively strenuous activities.

The protective bandage placed at the end of the otoplasty should be kept on for a few days to protect the ears. It is strongly advised to avoid wetting the incision area, particularly by avoiding washing the hair until the bandage is removed. It is normal to experience pain, tingling and numbness in the ear in the weeks following the procedure. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often recommended to reduce this discomfort.

Possible risks and complications of otoplasty

Otoplasty surgery is not considered dangerous or invasive. However, like any surgery, it is not without risks and complications. Some of these complications include:

  • post-surgery scarring, which is not visible because it is behind the ear;
  • infections at the incision site, often resolved with antibiotic treatment;
  • inflammation;
  • bruising, numbness and hardening that can take weeks to fade;
  • problems with sutures;
  • possible blood clots.

Otoplasty for children

Otoplasty is a procedure that both adults and children can undergo. The minimum age for the procedure coincides with the time when the development of the ears and ear cartilage stops, around 5 years of age. 

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