Ear Surgery & Otoplasty in Newport Beach & Orange County
Ear Surgery Before and After Photos
Ear Surgery Overview
Procedure: Correction of protruding, large, and/or abnormally shaped ears by a) making incisions at the natural fold behind the ears, or at the front of the ears, b) trimming and reshaping the cartilage (supportive tissue of the ears) if necessary, and c) removing excess skin if necessary
Length: On average 1.5 to 2.5 hours, but will vary depending on the complexity of the surgery
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia and intravenous sedation or general anesthesia
Place of Treatment: Office-based surgical facility, outpatient surgical facility or a hospital operating room
Recovery: Most patients can resume daily activities within 7 days returning to work between 7 to 10 days after surgery. However, patients should avoid strenuous activities such as bending, straining and heavy lifting for 6 weeks after surgery.
Duration of Results: Ear surgery offers permanent and almost immediate correction of protruding, large and/or abnormally shaped ears. Most patients are extremely satisfied with their results and enjoy a lifetime of aesthetically pleasing ears.
Side Effects: Side effects are events that may be experienced by patients as a result of your surgery and should not be considered adverse events. Our patients are counseled regarding these effects and if experienced they are tolerable and often temporary in duration.
- Numbness/altered sensation: Patients usually experience a temporary loss of sensation around the ears after surgery. It is common for the numbness to last from a few days up to a few months after surgery because the nerves around the ears may take a while to regenerate. In rare cases, the altered/loss of sensation may become permanent.
- Bruising/Swelling: Most patients experience mild bruising and swelling that lasts for the first few days after surgery. Any related pain is treated with pain medication that is prescribed by your surgeon.
- Scarring: Surgical scarring is rare after ear surgery and incisions will fade into inconspicuous thin white lines. Furthermore, the incision lines for ear surgery are placed at the natural folds or the back of the ear, which makes any scarring barely visible.
- Ear asymmetry: An uneven appearance of the ears may result if the ears are asymmetric preoperatively. Although the surgeon makes all attempts to sculpt the ear cartilage intraoperatively to compensate for any asymmetry, patients with significant preoperative asymmetry may demonstrate residual asymmetry. Ear asymmetry may be corrected by additional revision surgery.
Risks: Risks are unwanted events that may occur during or following surgery. These events are recognized as “complications” but their occurrence is minimized by appropriate patient selection, proper surgical decision making, effective surgical technique, and thorough preoperative and postoperative patient management.
- Hematoma: Hematoma refers to the accumulation of blood in the early postoperative period which pools into a surgical pocket. Hematomas provide a perfect medium for harboring growth of bacteria. So if you have an infection anywhere in your body, the bacteria will travel through the blood stream and grow in the hematoma; this can lead to an infection as well as an open wound. Additionally, chronic deposition of blood products over the ear may result in blunting of the fine features and aesthetically displeasing appearance of the ear, termed the cauliflower ear.
- Infection: An infection can occur following ear surgery. The infection will disrupt the incision line and may leave the patient with an open wound. Prolonged antibiotics are required to fight the infection and to prevent further extension of the infection. Infections are usually avoided by using drains, which will prevent hematoma formation. In addition, infections are less likely in patients who don’t smoke cigarettes or in patients who quit smoking for at least 1 month prior to surgery.
- Skin edge death/open wound: The skin incision can be disrupted if the skin edge dies or if there is local infection. This complication is best avoided by counseling patients on the terrible consequences of nicotine in cigarettes. Nicotine will literally clog all the small vessels found in the skin, which are critical for the healing of the skin edge. Ear surgery patients are usually mandated to quit smoking for at least 1 month prior to surgery. Additionally, undue dissection of the surgical pockets may result in disruption of blood flow especially to the anterior ear surface.
- Pulmonary embolism: Blood clots may form in leg veins during any surgery when the patient is under general anesthesia. Patients with a leg vein clot will complain postoperatively of pain in their calves. Patient’s with this complaint should be taken seriously and treated if a vein clot is diagnosed. Early treatment of patients with a deep leg vein will avoid migration of leg vein clot to the heart and lungs causing pulmonary embolism. Even though pulmonary emboli are rare, pulmonary emboli are the leading cause of death after surgery. Pulmonary emboli must be detected early by performing a CT Scan and should be treated urgently