When to perform surgery?
A child’s ear is almost fully grown by the age of 5 or 6. Performing surgery at this time is ideal because cartilage is still soft which makes the ear easier to reshape and may result in a shorter healing time. Children at this age are also just about entering school and can have the procedure done before potential peer abuse may occur. Though this is the ideal age the surgery is very successful at any age including into adulthood.
What should I expect from my consultation?
During your consultation, you will learn about the surgery, its limitations and risks, and discuss your needs and concerns. Dr. Nabil Fakih will thoroughly discuss your (or your child’s) desires and expectations for otoplasty or ear reshaping surgery with you. He will conduct a thorough examination of your ears, their relationship to your head and facial proportion, and their relationship to each other.
After your consultation we will take photographs for your medical record and we will discuss the surgery fees and scheduling dates. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. Also provide information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information. All our patient are prepared by Dr. Paula Martin-Marfil with the Pre / Post surgical preparation program to enhance a quick recovery.
How is done the Otoplasty?
Otoplasty may be done under local anesthesia in an adult, but for a child or someone who is anxious about surgery, sedation or general anesthesia may be recommendable. A small ellipse of skin is removed from behind the ear. Through this incision, the ear cartilage is weakened and reshaped with sutures or repositioned on the skull itself. Dr. Nabil Fakih uses Davis, Chongchet and Mustarde techniques to correct protruding ears.
What to avoid before surgery?
It is vitally important to avoid all blood thinning medications/supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery. This includes any aspirin or aspirin-containing products as well as any anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen (including Motrin, Aleve and Advil). It is generally fine to be take Tylenol (Acetaminophen). Avoid supplements such as Vitamin E including multi vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil and flax seed oil. All these medications can contribute to bleeding problems following surgery and can increase the amount of bruising.
Following surgery, a pressure dressing is placed on the ear, which must be left in place for five to seven days. When this dressing is removed and the sutures are removed, a compression dressing or a wrap should be worn on the ears at night. This is to avoid any accidental injury of the ears while sleeping. Pain is minimal following surgery and if any significant pain occurs, it should be reported immediately to your doctor. Contact sports should be avoided for approximately six weeks but regular exercise may be resumed once the sutures are removed.