At Sule Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Dallas, TX, we strongly believe that nobody should feel self-conscious about his or her ears. That is why we are proud to offer otoplasty. Today, we reveal everything you need to know about this procedure, including what makes a good candidate. Read on to learn more.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history, examine the size, shape, and placement of your ears, discuss in-depth what you can expect, and answer any questions you have about the procedure. But before you come in, here are some basics about who are good candidates for this procedure:
People Who Are at Least Five Years Old
By the age of 5, the auricle is 90% of its adult size. At this point, someone may be a good candidate. You may notice in the first year or two of your child’s life that his or her ears are abnormally small or large. You may also have been informed by your child’s pediatrician that your child’s ears have a structural issue that existed at birth.
However, until the auricle is almost done growing, this procedure will not be effective. While you may want your child to have a corrective procedure as soon as possible, the soonest possible time is when your child is five years old.
People Who Are Under 66 Years Old
Occasionally, Dr. Sule accepts clients for this procedure who are over the age of 65. This is because of how important it is to be in good overall health. However, if you are healthy and over the age of 65, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.
To sum up a good candidate succinctly, Dr. Sule looks for someone who is fairly healthy, leads a healthy lifestyle, and is interested in ear augmentation, pinning, or reduction.
People Who Don’t Smoke
The best candidate for otoplasty is someone who does not smoke. If you are a smoker, it is absolutely critical that you do not consume nicotine in the six weeks leading up to or following your procedure. We recommend smokers who are considering this procedure start to quit two months before their procedure.
This allows two weeks to wean themselves off of nicotine and allows for six weeks without nicotine at all. Having no nicotine in your system at the time of your procedure is important because this drug elevates your blood pressure. In turn, this affects the way general anesthesia affects your body. Moreover, it impedes your skin’s ability to heal.
People Who Are Fairly Healthy
To be a good candidate for this procedure, you must have a healthy heart and healthy lungs. This ensures that you can safely and effectively be put under general anesthesia.
Depending on your medical history, we may require an X-ray of your chest or echocardiogram to verify the health of your heart. If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to be put under local anesthesia and oral or intravenous sedation.
People Who Can Stop Taking Certain Medications
Some people take a baby aspirin daily for their heart health. Others take fish oil supplements for chronic joint pain. They don’t feel comfortable ceasing the use of these products. However, to be a good candidate for this procedure, you must be willing and able to stop taking medications and supplements that can thin your blood.
For instance, you may not take corticosteroids, NSAIDs, or MAOIs in the 14 days leading up to your procedure. Ask your primary care physician if it is safe for you to stop taking these medications. Tylenol is safe to take if you have discomfort or pain. Moreover, you must avoid taking such supplements as garlic supplements, vitamins E and K, and Ginkgo Biloba.
People Who Have Realistic Expectations About the Results
To be a good candidate for this procedure, it is very important that you have realistic expectations about the results. During your initial consultation, we will measure your ears and take photographs of their placement to help us determine what results you can realistically expect.
This procedure can be used to make your ears more proportionate to your head, whether they are unusually small or large. It can also be used to correct ears that protrude from the head. Finally, it can address structural issues caused by poor genes, injury or other trauma.
People Who Have Realistic Expectations About the Procedure Itself
To be a good candidate for this procedure, it is also important that you have realistic expectations about the procedure itself. This outpatient procedure is performed under general anesthesia and lasts anywhere from one to three hours. You will be asleep and completely comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
The incision technique depends on several factors, including the size and shape of your ears and the correction you are looking for. The incision will be made on the inner fold of your ear or on the back of your ear. The tissue will be manipulated and cartilage and skin may be removed. Your cartilage may be folded and shaped or new cartilage may be grafted and transplanted.
People Who Can Follow Post-Op Instructions
To be a good candidate for otoplasty, you must be willing and able to comply with all post-op instructions. For instance, you must avoid scratching at or touching your ears. You must sleep on your back or stomach for a couple of weeks after your procedure.
You should wear clothes, such as button-up shirts or button-down dresses, that you do not need to pull over your head to put on. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of post-op care instructions.
Everything Else You Need to Know About the Procedure
Parents are often concerned that their children will have to live with visible scars in order to enhance the appearance of their ears. Fortunately, this is not the case.
Regardless of whether you are seeking augmentation, reduction, or a more aesthetically appealing placement, the incisions will not become visible scars. They are either hidden at the back of the ear or inside the folds of the ear.
Nearly Instantaneous Results
Most of the time, when you undergo a cosmetic procedure, you have to wait several months to see the final results of the procedure. In the case of a brow lift, you have to wait a full year until your skin settles into its final resting place. Contrastingly, with this procedure, your skin settles atop your cartilage in a mere two weeks.
Health Insurance Coverage
Often, this procedure is performed for cosmetic purposes. People decide as they get older that they are concerned about abnormally large ear lobes, ears with a tip that folds down and significantly forward, or unusually small ears.
However, using this procedure to correct certain congenital defects, such as shell ear, are covered under your health insurance plan. In such cases, or in the case of a traumatic injury, you may not have to pay out of pocket for your procedure.
You must fast the night before your procedure. You may not eat or drink after midnight. Whether you are put under sedation or general anesthesia, your stomach must be completely empty when your procedure starts. If you can, eat a light dinner the night before your procedure and eat it before 8 PM.
Most of the time, people are not just concerned about the appearance of their ears. This procedure is often performed at the same time as other aesthetic-enhancing procedures. For instance, it is often combined with rhinoplasty, a brow lift, or an upper and lower eyelid lift. Talk to us if you’re interested in making multiple changes at once.
The First Night
Ask the person driving you to and from your procedure to spend your first night at home with you. After sedation or general anesthesia, you may feel drowsy and doze in and out of sleep. Your focus should be on rest and relaxation. You should have someone available to help you with anything you need for the first 24 hours post-op.
Unlike nearly every other cosmetic procedure, the results of this procedure are permanent. If you had this procedure performed as a child and are not satisfied with the results, don’t worry. We can perform a quick, simple revision procedure. Some adults who had this procedure as a child find that not enough of their cartilage was removed because their ears continued to grow significantly after the procedure.
We strongly encourage our clients to schedule a full week off of work. This allows you time to focus on your recovery without having to worry about how quickly you will need to return to work.
However, if you feel missing five or six days of work will stress you out, there is nothing wrong with returning to work two to three days after your procedure if you feel up to it. You may want to ask your supervisor if you can work remotely over the course of a week so you can take prescription analgesics if necessary and not have to worry about commuting.
The hardest part about recovering from your procedure can sometimes be remembering to take your medication exactly as prescribed. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a prescription for antibiotics. You must take the full course of antibiotics, even if you don’t feel like you need to. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
We strongly encourage our clients to try to drink a gallon of water on the day before your procedure. The more hydrated you are, the better your procedure and recovery will go. Don’t worry too much if you can’t drink a full gallon of water. If you are maintaining a healthy diet, you are probably getting an adequate supply of water from your foods.
Eat foods loaded with soluble fiber and protein during the two weeks following your procedure. If necessary, ask us for a prescription laxative. Many people who take prescription analgesics find that they need a laxative. It’s perfectly normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Discover How to Enhance Your Aesthetic Today
Have people made fun of your ears for as long as you can remember? Are you sick and tired of feeling self-conscious about your ears? If so, you may be a good candidate for otoplasty.
Would you like to learn more about this life-changing procedure? If so, contact us at Sule Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Dallas, TX today to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.