Weeks of preparation for otoplasty are often required to achieve the best results. The process starts with finding the surgeon you are most comfortable with. Preparing for the procedure requires a lot of information, realistic expectations of the outcome, and some practical considerations, right down to what to wear on the day of surgery. Below are several steps and considerations for anyone who is about to undergo cosmetic ear surgery.
The Otoplasty Consultation
After thoroughly researching the otoplasty procedure and finding a qualified surgeon, prospective patients will have an initial consultation that will be crucial to the procedure. The surgeon will thoroughly examine the patient’s ears and discuss various ways of correcting the problem. The initial consultation will first determine if otoplasty is the best procedure for the patient.
If otoplasty is indicated as a feasible treatment option, the surgeon will then discuss the ear surgery procedure in detail. This discussion will likely include details concerning the anesthesia, the patient’s a medical history, and the costs associated with the surgery. This initial consultaiton is a good time for prospective patients to inquire about the benefits of ear surgery as well as any potential risks and complications of otoplasty.
The Weeks Prior to Surgery
In the weeks prior to ear surgery, parents or guardians with children undergoing otoplasty should have discussions regarding the child's feelings. They should have genuine communication with their child regarding all of the details of the procedure and recovery, and reasonable expectations for the results.
For all prospective patients, aspirin use should be discontinued at least two weeks prior to surgery. Cessation of smoking and tobacco use is also strongly urged by physicians. Preparations for missing work or school, as well as a designated person to take care of the patient immediately following the surgery, should also begin to take shape during this time.
The Day before Surgery
Patients receiving general anesthesia for an otoplasty procedure will not be allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before, or the morning of, the surgery. The last meal the night prior to surgery should be a very light one. Preparations should be finalized for an extended recovery period (e.g., making sure work or school has been notified) and arrangements made for someone to drive the patient home. The patient should be under another person’s care for at least the first night unless the physician requires an overnight hospital stay.
The Day of Surgery
Before coming into the surgical facility, otoplasty patients should plan to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Restrictive collars or shirts that patients have to pull over their heads should not be worn. It is important, especially for children, that nothing bends or pulls at the ears after the operation. Adult patients are also strongly urged to shower and shampoo their hair thoroughly the morning of surgery. Women should braid or pin their hair, and men should have a haircut or trim at some point before the procedure.
- Before the surgery begins, the surgeon will administer either general anesthesia (usually in cases of ear surgery for children) or local anesthetic with a sedative for adult patients. The otoplasty surgery itself should take two hours or less, depending on the extent of the procedure. Some physicians ask that children stay overnight in the hospital, and adults may also require an overnight hospital stay if their procedure is more complex than a traditional otoplasty. However, most adults should plan to have someone with them to drive them home and take care of them the night following the surgery.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view otoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Arizona Cosmetic Surgery
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Preparation for otoplasty involves a number of important steps, beginning with a search for the right physician. Plus, details on possible otoplasty complications and ear surgery benefits, as well as on choosing an otoplasty surgeon, may help you decide if this is a procedure you'd like to have. Use DocShop's online directory of physicians to begin your search for a qualified ear surgeon.