When a child has prominent ears, this can result in significant teasing throughout early school years. For this reason, children between the ages of five and ten will have cosmetic ear surgery to fix appearance issues and to spare any further troubles when they are growing older.
But this is not always possible. Many adults are now looking to otoplasty to help them change the shape of their ears or to make more pronounced ears appear less so. Like any surgical procedure, ear surgery does have its risks to consider before this cosmetic procedure.
The Otoplasty ProcedureThe technique used during cosmetic ear surgery can vary from patient to patient since each patient’s concerns may be different. The surgery is done with general anesthesia for children, but adults are most often done with conscious sedation and local anesthesia.
The best method consists of making an incision behind the ear and the cartilages are operated on in such a way that puts the ear further back towards the head. Another method uses just heavy sutures to pull the ears back against the head, but I feel that this is an inferior technique.
Risks of Cosmetic Ear Surgery
Although the otoplasty surgery is generally one without complications and it can be completed on very young children without any trouble, the truth is that every surgery has its risks which must be carefully weighed.
- Symmetry problems
- Poor results leaving deformed ears
Recovery from OtoplastySince the incisions to the ears are small, recovery time for an otoplasty is short. Most patients will be able to resume their normal activities the next day, with little need for pain medication. Often, stitches will not need to be removed as they will dissolve on their own. Regular vigorous activities can be resumed within a few weeks and the minor swelling and bruising in the area will diminish over the course of a week to ten days.
Cosmetic Ear Surgery Costs
Cosmetic ear surgery costs vary from one plastic surgery practice to another. Typically, ear pinning is a procedure which will cost between $5,000 and $7,000 for both ears, but these fees include:
- Operating room fees
- Surgical fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Medical supplies
- Follow-up care
Many of the otoplasty procedures can be covered by health insurance plans if the operation is done on a young child; but coverage is usually not available for adults, because as a patient becomes older, health insurance companies will think of otoplasty as a purely cosmetic procedure. In these cases, a patient will need to pay for the surgery out of pocket. Most cosmetic surgery practices offer low-cost financing and payment plans to make the fees manageable and affordable.