In the modern era, there are set standards of physical appearance which define beauty. Even the appearance of ears, the auditory organ of the body, matters a lot these days. Any abnormalities in the ear structure result in low self-esteem and bullying, especially amongst children. Previously, medicine was concerned only with the internal defects, but with the advancement in modern surgical technology, any structural abnormalities of the ears can be fixed easily.
Pinnaplasty is an ear correction surgery performed to improve the appearance of the ear. This surgery creates a more natural shape by balancing the proportion of ears and face.
Pinnaplasty is an appropriate option for correcting:
- Overly large ears
- Protruding ears
- Asymmetrical ears
- An unsatisfying result from the previous ear corrective surgery
Both children and adults with good health can undergo pinnaplasty. However, the final decision, whether you are eligible for pinnaplasty or not, is made by the doctor.
The suitable candidates for pinnaplasty are the individuals who:
- Do not have any life-threatening health problems
- Do not smoke
- Have a positive approach and realistic expectations with surgery
PREPARATION BEFORE PROCEDURE
The surgeon will examine your general health and will explain the procedure, its benefits, and risks. You need to discuss your medical history and social history with the surgeon. The surgeon will take some photographs to compare and document the results of the procedure.
The following instructions are given to obtain a positive outcome from the surgery:
- Avoid using blood thinners, or any other medicines that increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery.
- Quit smoking few weeks before the surgery
- Tell about the current use of medicines, vitamins or mineral supplements
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Inform the surgeon if you are allergic to any medicine
- Ask your surgeon, about any diet restrictions
Pinnaplasty is usually done as an outpatient surgery. So, ask someone to accompany you on the day of the surgery.
The surgeon will administer local anaesthesia and make a small incision at the back of the ear. Now, the surgeon will pull back the skin to access the cartilage and change its shape to give a balanced look. In some cases, the surgeon may remove small pieces of cartilage. Once the cartilage is fixed in a desired shape and location, it is secured with non-removable sutures. The surgeon will do dressing on your head to provide support to the ears.
You may get discharged on the same day of the surgery. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common for a few days, which can be managed by taking the prescribed medicines. For a few weeks, you need to wear a headband while sleeping to protect the ears. The dressing will be removed within 10 days. Within two weeks most of the people can return to their work.
For a quicker recovery, follow these instructions:
- Avoid any kind of contact sports for at least 12 weeks
- Do not get exposed to excessive sunlight or the harsh environment during the healing period
- Avoid strenuous exercises
- Do not lift heavy weights for a few weeks
- Avoid smoking for a few weeks
- Talk to your surgeon if you notice bleeding or any unusual symptoms
In most of the cases, the person will go back home on the same day of the surgery. However, depending on the condition, the doctor will decide whether a hospital stay is required or not.
Nicotine and tobacco smoke contain certain chemicals that delay wound healing. Hence, it is always advised to avoid smoking for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Pinnaplasty is an outpatient procedure that lasts for about one hour.
Swimming must be avoided for at least eight weeks after pinnaplasty.
Occasionally pinnaplasty may cause the following complications:
- Inflammation of the ear
- Blood clot
- Stiff ears
- Allergic reaction