Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) Surgery in Vancouver
Large, protruding or misshapen ears can cause feelings of self-consciousness regarding appearance. If you are unhappy with the shape of your ears – the creases, folds, size – this can be corrected with Otoplasty. Otoplasty is a procedure done to correct deformities of or disfiguring injuries to the external ear.
As Vancouver’s leading facial plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ritchie Younger has performed hundreds of Otoplasties with excellent results.
Dr. Younger gives a general overview of otoplasty including what age groups benefit and how.
During a pinback otoplasty, the ears are pinned back to give a less protruding impression.
Pinback otoplasty is the only type of plastic surgery that is performed more often in children than adults. As a facial plastic surgeon Dr. Younger mainly performs pinback otoplasty on adults, but occasionally operates on children and teens. It is one of the most gratifying procedures, which gives clients instant gratification.
After an initial consultation, Dr. Younger may recommend repositioning of the ear(s). Dr. Younger and his staff will thoroughly explain the pre-operative steps, the procedure, and postoperative care. Young children usually undergo a general anesthetic in a hospital setting, while adults will usually have local anesthetic and oral sedation done.
Once the patient is comfortable, an incision is made behind the ear, where the scars will be easily hidden in the natural crease. Non-removable sutures or stitches are used to hold the repositioned, reshaped tissues and cartilage in their new place. Removable external sutures close the outside incisions. The average otoplasty surgery lasts 1 to 2 hours and clients are discharged the same day. Full healing to show the final results take up to 8 to 12 months for most clients.
Following surgery, some discomfort and swelling is expected and is managed with pain medication. The ears are bandaged with soft dressings and clients should avoid sleeping on their side, since is gives pressure that slow down the healing. A week after surgery, the client will be asked to wear a headband to protect and support the reshaping of the ears. Clients can usually return to school or work in about 7 days, and resume their other activities in 1 to 2 weeks.
Earlobe Refinement (Loboplasty)
Earlobe refinement is a small surgical procedure, which rejuvenates or normalizes the appearance of earlobes. There are a number of reasons why clients are interested in this procedure. Earlobes can be changed by aging, injury (piercing, too heavy jewelry) or be different in size due to genetics or trauma. The most common reason is that gravity pulls on the earlobes, making them look aged and loose.
Earlobe refinement adjusts the size or the position of the earlobe. It is a relatively quick procedure with short downtime. Surgery takes place under local anaesthesia and lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Dr. Younger will typically remove the excess hanging tissue and freshen up the skin edges. Fine internal and external stitches are used to create a more normal looking earlobe.
Swelling and redness take 7 to 10 days to disappear. For complete healing to occur, 6 to 12 months are necessary.
There are several situations when clients may need an ear reconstruction performed. Trauma due to car accidents, dog bites, cancer or birth defects are the most common ones.
Reconstructive surgery usually includes more steps than one. Skin grafts and local flaps can be used artfully in one or many operations to reconstruct a distorted ear. The final outcome is improved form and enhanced function of the ear. During the initial consultation, Dr. Younger will thoroughly explain the pre-operative steps, the procedure, and postoperative care.
The first step of an ear reconstruction may involve inserting a tissue expander under the skin, behind the ear. The tissue expander then needs 8 to 12 weeks, to allow for the skin to expand. The resulting tissue is then to be used to reconstruct the missing or disfigured ear. The second surgery focusses on morphing the new tissue into the shape of an ear by using cartilage under the skin. Depending on the complexity of the surgery, this surgery takes 1 to 3 hours.
Since this type is more complicated that regular pinback otoplasty, it may also require more downtime to allow for proper healing. The swelling and discomfort will last 7 to 10 days and most clients are back to work in 2 to 3 weeks. Full healing can take as long as 8 to 12 months.
Dr. Younger talks about ear reconstruction surgery and who its suited for.