Otoplasty is a surgical procedure aimed to re-locate the protruding ears in order to get them more attached to the head, or to reduce their size. These ears are usually characterized to have a hypertrophic conchal bow, a lack of antihelical fold, or both. The procedure is aimed at improving these anomalies to get a more harmonious ear pavilion.

It is usually performed in children between 4 and 14 years old, and in adults without any risk associated to the age. The intervention lasts from 1 to 2 hours.

It usually does not require hospitalization, because it is performed under local anesthesia and sedation. In young children it is recommended the use of general anesthesia.

For one month, the patient must sleep with a tape that will maintain the shape of the new ear. In 10 days, the stitches will be removed. After 5-7 days you will be able to return to work or school, taking care of physical activities. The full recovery is achieved after 3 months.

Although infrequent and minor, surgery-related complications may occur such as infections, anesthesia reactions, asymmetries, recurrence of the deformity, etc. In case of prominent ears, otoplasty offers almost immediate results; nevertheless, and in case of atrial reconstruction the results will appear after a little more time.

How long does the intervention last?

It usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours, although in severe cases it can last more time.

Is hospitalization necessary?

It is frequently performed as an outpatient procedure. Depending on the technique used, the duration of the surgery and the degree of difficulty of the reconstruction may require hospitalization.

How is the recovery?

During the intervention, Dr. Tarragona will place a bandage that will be removed after 24 hours. Once it is removed, the patient should apply ointment impregnated gauzes daily and keep them for 3 days, protected with a band without pressure. It is necessary to sleep a month with this band and not to practice sports for at least 30 days after surgery. The stitches will be removed in 10 days and after 3 months, the recovery will be complete.

How is the preoperative?

In the previous sessions, Dr. Tarragona will evaluate the problem and will recommend the most appropriate technique for you. This ensures that patient and doctor will decide together the shape and the size of the ears.

How is the surgery?

By correcting protruding or prominent ears, the incision is generally made on the back surface of the ear, producing an imperceptible scar. Then, the auricular cartilage is reduced by its weakening, permanent sutures, or partial resection of cartilage, leading to folding in adequate locations and producing a natural appearance. A bandage is placed in order to maintain the new location of ears and allow them healing properly. All incisions are made at retroauricular groove level; thus, scars are not visible.

When is an appropriate time to operate?

You should avoid sun exposure or excessive cold, so the best time is at the end of summer or winter.

At what age is more appropriate to operate?

Structures of the auditory pavilion are much more moldable in childhood, thus this is the optimal time for the intervention, and also because they have no complete social awareness for this issue. However, during adolescence, or reached maturity, these procedures can also be performed with equally satisfactory results.

When will I be able to return to normal life?

Usually, patients can return to normal life in a week, being careful with physical activities.

Are results long-lasting?

The result is permanent. A retouch is rarely necessary.

What complications can occur?

Complications are minor such as hematoma, ecchymosis, recurrence of deformity, and asymmetries.

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