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Self image – Otoplasty – desire or need?

Self image – Otoplasty – desire or need?

Dr. Abdul Amir Zain Otorhinolaryngology Doctor and Cervico-Facial Surgery

In the 21st century, a century in which the image matters so much, and especially now, when technology allows us to call on interventions designed to help us and make our lives easier.

Self image – Otoplasty – desire or need?

In Romania, aesthetic medicine has advanced a lot, but we are still faced with the mentality of people, who judge these choices, but above these prejudices, the most important thing is for the patient to feel good in his own skin, to be confident and satisfied with the image he sees in the mirror.

You can resort to minimally invasive or surgical aesthetic interventions when you feel the need to improve your personal image. If in the case of lips, cheekbones or to blur wrinkles, injections are the optimal solution, when we are talking about defining facial features, such as an excessively large nose or ears with an enlarged, protruding appearance, then the only solution is the surgical one.

Patients who are faced with flapped or detached ears, which often cause them physical complexes, can confidently turn to otoplasty. The procedure is highly requested by both women and men, sometimes we are even talking about minor patients, who, because of the appearance offered by the flapped ears, face bullying in groups of friends or colleagues. In these cases it is extremely important to understand that the intervention is important for the correct emotional development of the child, who, if he does not deal with this aspect, as a future adult, will face strong inferiority complexes.

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a surgery, which involves the correction and remodeling of the shape of the ears – flapped or detached – as well as the reconstruction of the ear obtained as a result of trauma or congenital malformations. Otoplasty is not only performed on the upper part of the ear, but also on the lower part – the earlobe – and can be performed even in the case of ears with a split lobe due to heavy earrings or post-traumatic.

The intervention can be performed both in the case of adults and in the case of children, after the latter have reached the age of 5-6 years, and their ears have reached their final shape and size.

The main scope of otoplasty is to restore this symmetry. The surgical intervention involves remodeling the auricular cartilage and anchoring it to bring the ears closer to the head and shape the shape of the ear naturally, but at the same time aesthetically. Because we are discussing an intervention to mask a “defect” through a surgical intervention, patients must know that the incisions and also the small scars will be on the back of the ear, masked by it.

Being a complex surgical intervention, the operation is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s needs, in order to ensure his comfort, as well as that of the medical team. Depending on the needs of each patient, after surgery he can go home or stay under medical supervision for 1-2 days, especially in the case of children under 18 years old.

Post-operator, the patient will not feel pain or discomfort, but will face an inflammation in the area, which is absolutely normal, given the fact that he has undergone a surgical intervention.

10 days after the surgery, the patient must return to the hospital or clinic, to the surgeon, for the removal of the threads. It is very important that after this stage – removing the threads – the patient strictly follows the doctor’s recommendation. Why do we say this? Because from this point the patient will have to wear an elastic restraint, which will help to heal the operation faster, but also to maintain and protect the new shape of the ear.

What are the rules that the patient must follow before the procedure?

As with any surgery, it is necessary for the patient to properly prepare for the operation and follow some clear rules:

● It is recommended not to consume food or drinks, after 12 o’clock at night, before the surgery;

● It is forbidden to take aspirin and medicines containing it, 2 weeks before the operation;

● In the case of women, it is recommended that the operation be performed outside the menstrual period;

● Before the operation, there must be an open discussion with the medical team, and the surgeon and the anesthetist must be correctly informed about the patient’s medical conditions and problems (tension, vascular problems, heart attack, diabetes, lung problems, problems with bleeding, epilepsy, neurological problems, allergies to various drugs);

● In the case of smokers, it is recommended to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked 1-2 weeks before the intervention, but also 2-3 weeks after;

● It is indicated to avoid exposure to the sun, solarium or sauna before the operation;

● If the patient experiences discomfort, pain or other symptoms, the recommendation is to call the surgeon and talk to him as soon as possible;

How is the intervention performed?

The otoplasty surgey – the correction of flapped ears – is performed under local anesthesia associated with intravenous analgesia, and the duration of the operation is approximately 2 hours. The incision is made behind the ear, the cartilage is highlighted and then shaped with non-absorbable threads, folding it and bringing it closer to the head. After the skin is sutured, an elastic bandage is applied over the ears.

This type of intervention, depending on the patient and his needs, can also be done on an outpatient basis or with a 1 day hospitalization.

Self image – Otoplasty – desire or need?

Dr. Abdul Amir Zain

What happens after the intervention?

In the first days after surgery, the patient may experience moderate pain that can be managed with regular pain relievers, and the ears may swell and bruise in the first two weeks after surgery. However, in 2-3 days, adults can resume their current activities, but it is advisable that any new symptoms be communicated to the doctor as soon as possible.

If we talk about children, the recovery period is a little longer, about 1 week, during which time it will be carefully supervised by parents.

Although the patient will be delighted with the result, it is recommended that he avoid touching the area excessively, do not mechanically attack the ears, avoid heavy/uncomfortable earrings. At the same time, it is recommended that the patient avoid headphones, headbands or tight hats and anything else that would put extra pressure on the treated area.

It is important to see your doctor regularly for regular check-ups to make sure everything is going as it should. In the case of some patients, a certain postoperative control is necessary, while other patients require more controls.

Although in Romania there is not much talk about this type of intervention, we have a fairly large number of patients who turn to this intervention. Ears are part of a man’s physiognomy, and no matter how much we want to hide their appearance – girls can often just wear their hair down – we will not be able to do this forever.

Now, at the moment when we have access to technology and information, when everything is just a click away, there is no point in living with complexes, which constrain our social, professional life and which, in the end, affect our life.

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