When it comes to plastic surgery procedures otoplasty is unusual, because while plastic surgery is generally performed on adults, otoplasty is done on children for the most part. Because of this trend, adults that would like to have the procedure done often wonder – Am I too old for an otoplasty.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty or ear pinning surgery is a surgical procedure that is done to reshape the ears, or adjust their position. It is a relatively simple operation that reduces large or protruding ears that are out of proportion with the other facial features. Otoplasty can also correct congenital deformities, such as ‘lop ear’ or a ‘cupped ear’ and give the ears a more natural look.
Am I too old for an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty can be done at any age. Although typical candidates for otoplasty are children between the ages of 5-14 years, the procedure can certainly be done on adults. Adults that feel self-conscious about the appearance of their ears can therefore be good candidates for otoplasty. They should also be in good health.
Otoplasty is primarily done on children as they are often subjected to ridicule by their peers, due to the appearance of their ears. This can be especially difficult for children to handle, so parents often take the decision to have otoplasty performed, in order to protect their kids from teasing and criticism. However, if you never had ear surgery done as a child, it’s never too late.
Doctors recommend that otoplasty be done on children, because their ear cartilage is extremely soft and pliable, and this makes it easy to shape. However, each year many adults successfully undergo otoplasty, so if you wish to have the procedure done, there is no reason to worry that you may be too old.
Why adults choose to have otoplasty
Adults generally undergo otoplasty for the same reason children do, to improve the appearance of their ears.
Otoplasty can be just as life-changing for adults as it is for kids, because many adults struggle with feelings of insecurity as they don’t like how their ears look. In fact, some adults with prominent ears wear hairstyles that cover their ears, in order to avoid any unwanted attention. Otoplasty can therefore provide great psychological benefits for men and women that feel self-conscious or embarrassed about their ears. After undergoing otoplasty most patients are thrilled with the results, and feel a lot more self-assured and confident.
Also, doing otoplasty as an adult does have its benefits. Adults are in a better position to make informed decisions and have realistic expectations about surgery. They are usually very diligent with post-operative care, so there is less chance of an infection during healing.
What adults should expect with otoplasty
Otoplasty in adults is usually performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. The incision for surgery is made in the natural crease of the ear where it connects to the head. The cartilage is then sculpted in order to reshape the ear. Stitches are used to anchor the ear so that it stays in the new position during healing.
Otoplasty is done on an outpatient basis, and takes about 2-3 hours to perform. The procedure is customized based on the specific requirements of each patient.
The ears are normally bandaged after surgery and removed within 5-7 days. Recovery after otoplasty may take several weeks, and normal activities can be resumed slowly. Patients are given post-operative instructions, so that they can protect their ears during the recovery period and heal as expected.
Adults considering otoplasty should remember that the goal of surgery is to improve the appearance of the ears, so they should not expect both ears to be perfectly symmetrical.
If you would like to get your ear fixed with otoplasty, be sure to consult with a skilled, board certified plastic surgeon. That’s the only way to make certain that you get the best possible results, and experience minimal complications with surgery.
Are you interested in otoplasty?
If you are in the Raleigh & Durham, NC areas, contact Stein Plastic Surgery to learn more about the procedure.
Call (919) 891-6306 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Adam Stein.