COSMETIC EAR SURGERY
An otoplasty operation is used to correct protruding ears. Dr. Diacakis is able to correct ear aesthetics that may be deformed by cartilage anomalies, in order to improve the aesthetic harmony of a patient’s face.
Why do some ears “protrude”?
Protruding ears are the result of malformations. Patients may be teased in their childhood, which can lead to major psychological discomfort. This defect is due to an anomaly of the cartilaginous skeleton and is aesthetic; it does not cause hearing disorders. Patients may also experience fragile skin which leads to cracked, perforated, or torn earlobes. This may be caused by trauma or by the prolonged wearing of earrings, and may also require surgical intervention.
“Normal” ears have a width between 50 and 60% of their length; they average 3 to 4.5cm in width and 5.5 to 7cm in length. When seen from the front, the ear extends from the eyebrow to the lower part of the nose. The average angle between the ear and the skull is 25° in men, and 21° in women.
Ears are considered “detached” when the angle they form with the skull is greater than average, and/or when the inner part of the ear is not parallel to the skull. Detached ears are considered too apparent when viewed from the front.
We differentiate between three types of malformations of the year :
– Concha valgus: referring to an exaggerated retro-auricular angle between the ear and the skull
– Excessive projection of the ear due to hypertrophy of the concha cartilage
– An absence of relief caused by a malformation of the cartilage, which does not fold over itself (antelix)
Cosmetic ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is most typically performed on both ears, but may involve only one.
Excision of posterior skin on the ear alone does not usually achieve desired results due to elasticity of this tissue. An otoplasty operation typically involves correcting malformations of the auricular cartilage responsible for the ear’s “detached” appearance. We fold back the part of the cartilage that lacks folds, bury the part which is too exposed, and reduce the size of excessive cartilage.
Who should consider otoplasty surgery?
Otoplasty is available for any adult or child with protruding ears. Ears reach 85% of their adult size by the time a person is 3 years old. This procedure can be performed on patients as young as seven, as long as children have expressed a desire for the operation and are able to understand its interests. This intervention is generally carried out at the beginning of primary school, at the beginning of secondary school, or during adolescence.
PRIOR TO AN OTOPLASTY OPERATION
Patients are required to take a pre-operative consultation for assessment prior to an otoplasty operation. For cases requiring general anaesthetic, patients should see the anaesthetist at least 48 hours prior to the operation. Patients should refrain from taking aspirin in the ten days prior to the operation.
OTOPLASTY OPERATION PROCEDURE
Otoplasty procedures are typically carried out on an outpatient basis, and patients are discharged on the day of the operation after a few hours of supervision.
The procedure may be performed using one of three kinds of anaesthesia :
– Pure local anaesthesia: an analgesic product is injected locally
– Thorough local anaesthesia: injection of tranquillisers administered intravenously
– General anaesthesia: patients are put entirely to sleep
The incisions (where the future scars will be located) are generally made in the retroauricular fold, in the natural fold behind the ear.
POST OTOPLASTY OPERATION
In most cases, this operation is performed under local anaesthesia, which limits pre-operative bleeding and post-operative pain. We may use general anaesthesia (often with a laryngeal mask) for reasons of comfort, and especially if the patient is a child.
The operation is typically performed on an outpatient basis, and patients are kept under supervision for one day or one half of a day. Patients wake slowly over the course of an hour and a half, first in the recovery room and then in their own room. Ears are kept compressed over 24 hours through a voluminous “helmet” bandage, which is removed on the following day.
OTOPLASTY OPERATION RESULTS
Pain from this procedure is generally moderate and can be alleviated by analgesics. Patients with excessive discomfort should ask for a consultation.
Ears may be swollen at first and may have bruising. This should not be considered alarming, and will not compromise the final results. Once the bandage has been removed, sutures can be left open to the air, and it is possible for patients to wear glasses. Patients should wear a headband to cover their ears at night for about one month to prevent ears from turning over.
Stitches should resorb on their own, but will be removed after 15 days if they do not.
Patients should refrain from contact sports — as well as any exercise that puts ears at risk — for two months after the operation. Patients should also avoid prolonged exposure to extreme cold for two months after the operation, as the temporary decrease in sensitivity of the ears increases risks of frostbite.
Patients will see the final results of the operation after two to four months. Scarring is nearly invisible, as scars are placed in the hollow behind the ear.
Any surgical operation comes with the risk of complications, but otoplasty operations are not particularly risky.
Patients are advised to refrain from smoking for six to eight weeks prior to the operation, in order to eliminate any risk of complications.
Alternatives to Otoplasty : EarFold Implants
Dr. Richard Diacakis is an earFold implantologist. This is a minimally invasive technique for correcting protruding ears and offers long-lasting and immediate results with fewer after-effects than conventional surgical techniques.
OTOPLASTY OPERATION COSTS
The cost of an otoplasty consultation with Dr. Diacakis is 100 euros.
The cost of an otoplasty operation varies according to different factors, including the magnitude of the operation, the chosen clinic, desired services, and any potential associated operations. This surgery is most often covered by health insurance for children. In adults, it only concerns severe forms.
Dr. Diacakis will provide you with an estimate at the end of the pre-operative consultation, which you can give to your social security and/or health insurance company in order to find out whether your operation will be covered. Your agent will call you to discuss your request before providing their approval.
During the consultation, you will receive an estimate including :
– The cost of the clinic (operating theater fees, accommodation in a single room)
– Surgeon fees
– Anaesthetist fees
– Assistance costs
– Application of 20% VAT (in cases not covered by social security)
Only the first consultation is charged. Dr. Diacakis does not charge a fee on any other pre- or post-operative consultation.
For all cosmetic operations, patients are given a minimum reflection period of fifteen days.