Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Austin, TX

 

 
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Before & Afters


*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

Doctors Edward Buckingham and Erin Smith offer Otoplasty solutions for patients in Austin & Sunset Valley, TX. Prominent or misshapen ears can be a psychologically challenging experience for the young adult and child, often drawing ridicule from peers. The prominent ear may take several forms, but both result from misshapen cartilage during intrauterine growth. After careful consideration as to the exact anatomical alteration, a surgical procedure known commonly as otoplasty may be undertaken to re-shape the ear cartilage and return the ears to a more natural configuration in relation to the remainder of the face and head. When undertaken at a young age prior to the development of self identification and peer involvement of the elementary years, otoplasty for children is the best choice, most children will forget the experience altogether and never encounter any unfavorable social interactions.

To determine if a patient is a good candidate for this procedure, Dr. Buckingham recommends a private patient consultation.

After your surgery

The day after the otoplasty surgery (ear pinning), the dressing placed around your head will be removed and a new dressing will be applied. You should keep this in place for an additional 48 hours and remove as we instruct you to do so. A dissolvable type of suture has been placed behind the ears. This area will need to be cleaned two to three times per day with Q-Tips and Hydrogen Peroxide. After cleansing with Hydrogen Peroxide, the antibiotic ointment should be applied with a Q-Tip for the first week.

The light elastic headband should be worn post-operatively after the dressing has been removed, for 6 weeks in the evening hours and at night. This is a preventative measure so the ears are not disturbed or traumatized while sleeping. It also aids in assisting the healing process to occur where the ears are positioned. It is very important to your well being that you follow completely all of the instructions given to you by this office. We will check your progress regularly following surgery.

Frequently Asked Otoplasty Questions

What is ear surgery?

Otoplasty potential candidates for ear surgery are over the age of four and are in good physical health with realistic expectations for the improvement of large or protruding ears. A private patient consultation with Dr. Buckingham is the best way to determine if otoplasty is right for you.

Are there any age restrictions for ear surgery?

Ear surgery is primarily performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14, though Otoplasty for adults can be performed later with no problems.

What can I expect during a consultation for ear surgery?

After an ear surgery there may be some throbbing and aching of the ears for the first few days. Medication will be prescribed in order to relieve any discomfort.

Where is the ear surgery procedure performed?

Dr. Buckingham may perform your ear surgery in an outpatient surgical center.

What type of anesthesia is used for ear surgery?

The different types of anesthesia that are used during ear surgery often vary by age. General anesthesia is typically used for younger children, while older children or adults usually receive general or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.

How is the otoplasty procedure performed?

For the otoplasty procedure, a small incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. This is then reshaped and bent back closer to the head in order to achieve the desired result. Sutures may be used to reshape the ear or hold the ear in place.

How long does the actual ear surgery procedure last?

A typical ear surgery procedure lasts one and one half hours, though the exact time will depend on the individual case.

Where are the incisions made for ear surgery?

Dr. Buckingham typically confines the incisions for ear surgery to the back of the ear, allowing them to be well-concealed and barely visible.

Are there scars after ear surgery?

There is a slight scar that is left behind the ear after ear surgery, though it is well concealed and tends to fade throughout the years.

What is the recovery like after otoplasty?

After otoplasty, the ears heal properly and may be bandaged. Some discomfort, throbbing or aching of the ears can occur during the first few days though this can be alleviated with prescription medication. The bandages are usually removed after a few days and replaced with a lighter headband-like dressing. Some swelling, redness and numbness can also occur.

When can I return to work after my otoplasty surgery?

Work or school can usually be resumed within about five to seven days after the otoplasty surgery.

When can I exercise after the ear surgery procedure?

After an ear surgery, vigorous exercise should be postponed for three weeks. Activities that may involve hitting or bending the ear should be avoided for at least six weeks to prevent damage to the ear.

Would the surgery for both of my ears make them appear uniform?

It depends on what the “normal” ear looks like. If it is truly within normal measurements then surgery can be done on only the protruding ear. If the other ear is protruding also then often times it is better to treat both ears.

What type of ear surgery is used to correct uneven ears?

There are different deformities in the ears that can be referred to as uneven. If the ears stick out from the head a different amount then an otoplasty can be used to make the ears more even. If one ear is truly lower than the other in where it is attached to the head, that is not correctable.

Is it possible to have a revision otoplasty?

It is possible to do a revision otoplasty. While fortunately otoplasty procedures are very reliable, we do end up revising, usually other surgeons work, periodically.

Will Otoplasty affect my hearing?

No an otoplasty will not affect your hearing, positively or negatively. The external auricle is only responsible for a minuscule amount of the gathering of sound waves to the middle

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