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Dr. John Garcia


    Otoplasty: Enhancing Aesthetics through Ear Surgery

    Otoplasty, commonly referred to as cosmetic ear surgery, is a procedure often recommended for children and adolescents experiencing feelings of awkwardness or ridicule due to prominent, protruding, or asymmetrical ears. The surgery addresses concerns arising from ears that are excessively separated from the head or lack defined contours. It is crucial for parents to be attentive to the potential impact of prominent ears on their children’s self-esteem, recognizing that a solution exists for those facing complexity or distress related to this noticeable feature.

    The surgical process involves accessing the ear from the posterior side, allowing for the relocation and modification of its appearance. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, entails altering the skin and cartilage characteristics that form the ear.

    Typically conducted under light neuroleptoanalgesia (sedation) and local anesthesia, which remains effective for three to four hours, otoplasty seldom requires general anesthesia. The procedure, lasting approximately 2 hours, involves concealing the incision within the retroauricular fold. Steps include detaching the skin from the helix cartilage, resecting the Darwinian tubercle contour, and highlighting the antihelix fold through transcartilaginous suturing. In cases of excess conchal cartilage, a partial resection of the temporal oblique muscle may be performed to position the shell without tension. The intervention concludes with intradermal sutures and the application of a bandage.

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    Postoperative Period

    Typically, patients undergo a brief stay in the clinic (2-3 hours) before returning home. The pressure bandage should be worn until sutures are removed, usually around 10-12 days. Follow-up appointments are scheduled for days 4, 8, and 12. After suture removal, patients can resume normal activities but are advised to wear an ear band during sleep for the first month to prevent any deformation during nighttime rest.

    Complications and Consequences

    Complications are rare and can be mitigated through meticulous surgical techniques, consistently yielding satisfactory results. This approach concurrently minimizes the likelihood of postoperative sequelae. Edema is a common occurrence but typically resolves within a few days. Rare complications include hematoma, infection, and perichondritis. Possible sequelae may include undercorrection, often more noticeable to the surgeon than the patient, as well as the formation of hypertrophic scars and keloids along the incision lines.

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