Ear Surgery Jacksonville
Reconstructive ear surgery (Otoplasty) is more commonly performed on children of four years old to early teens, although it can be performed on adults just as successfully. If a young child has ears that are protruding or large enough to cause him or her undue embarrassment or social stress then it is better that otoplasty is performed whilst the child is still young. The cartilage of the ear is far more pliable at this age and an otoplasty surgeon will have find it easier to create the desired shape in the ear. The child will also avoid any future social stress.
The main reasons for undergoing plastic surgery of the ear are to reduce oversized ears (a condition known as Macrotia) to pin back protruding ears (caused by excess cartilage) so they are closer to the head, to correct previous plastic ear surgery that the patient is unhappy with or to recreate an ear that may not have formed properly during development. Examples of this are “lop ear” (where the top of the ear droops down or forward) or “cupped” or “shell ear” (which is a very small ear or one that has not fully developed the contours that form the classic ear shape).
The ear can also be reconstructed to give it a normal appearance after injury or trauma such as a dog bite, car accidents or extreme forms of jewelry. This latter case is common amongst individuals wishing to enter the military who have been refused because their ears have pronounced loops due to heavy earrings or piercings.
Otoplasty can be performed in a physician’s office under local anesthetic if the procedure is minimal, or it may require more extensive surgery under general anesthetic in a specialized surgery center or hospital. The extent of the surgery, time required and cost of otoplasty will depend upon how much of a change the patient requires. The overall aim of reconstructive ear surgery is to restore balance and proportion to the face and how this is best achieved is something that you will need to discuss with your otoplasty surgeon. It will be useful to see some before and after otoplasty pictures to make sure that your expectations are realistic.
The recovery time varies depending upon the procedure. For a simple pinning back of the ear adults can resume normal, light activities within 3 days, however young children should be kept away from too much activity for the first seven days since their naturally boisterous nature could easily damage the results of the procedure. A more involved procedure will require a longer rest period. In all cases the ear should not be handled roughly or bent for at least a month. As with any surgery some temporary tingling, numbness, swelling, itching or general discomfort can be expected during the healing process but these symptoms will subside during the following weeks or months.
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