Once a patient has made the decision to undergo otoplasty surgery, they are often very eager to begin enjoying aesthetically enhanced ears and the rejuvenated self-image and self-esteem that can accompany them. Patients usually want to find out how long the healing process will take. More specifically, they want to know how soon they can begin enjoying the look of their newly reconfigured ears, how different the appearance of their ears will be, how easily others will be able to tell that they have undergone cosmetic ear surgery, and more. A properly executed otoplasty procedure can give patients numerous physical and psychological benefits, contingent upon the surgeon’s performance and the patient’s cooperation with the surgeon’s instructions for how to heal properly in the weeks following the surgery.
Results Become Apparent Within a Matter of Days
Patients undergoing any kind of plastic surgery are usually very excited to begin enjoying the results. Fortunately, otoplasty has one of the shortest recovery times of all plastic surgery procedures, and most patients do not have to wait more than a week before the bandages can be removed. However, during the first five to seven days following cosmetic ear surgery, it is very important that patients do not even attempt to peek at their ears. Tampering with the post-operative pressure dressing increases the risk of infection, and can negatively impact the appearance of the results.
Once the patient is ready to have the bandages removed, and a medical professional has unwrapped the dressing, results will be immediately visible. Although some residual swelling may cause minor distortions in the actual size of the ear, patients are almost always encouraged and excited by the first glimpse at their new look.
It usually takes about six weeks to make a full recovery following cosmetic ear surgery, depending upon the extent of the treatment. Adults can usually return to work within two to three days after surgery, while children usually need about a week of recovery time before they go back to attending school. Vigorous physical activity should be avoided during the week immediately following surgery. The patient’s ears will be more sensitive than usual to heat and cold during recovery, so hot blow dryers and other items capable of producing extreme heat or cold should be avoided. If a patient undergoes surgery during periods of warm weather in the spring or summer, it is important to keep their head cool while wearing the protective pressure dressings. Patients should notify their doctor immediately if any complications occur during their recovery.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view otoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Kovanda Plastic Surgery
Long-Term Physical and Psychological Otoplasty Results
For most cosmetic ear surgery patients, the results are permanent. However, since the ears are primarily composed of cartilage, a naturally elastic tissue, patients with surgically pinned ears can sometimes experience a small amount of “springing back” over the years. Many facial plastic surgeons take this into account during the initial procedure by overcorrecting slightly, thereby leaving room for the ears to keep a natural shape in the long-term. Some patients choose to have otoplasty revision surgery several years after their first surgery to maintain the look they desire. However, studies have shown that approximately 85 percent of otoplasty patients remain satisfied with the long-term results of surgery.
Another long-term result of cosmetic ear surgery is the patient’s alleviated self-consciousness, which is often contingent upon the longevity of the physical alterations performed during otoplasty. Patients who undergo otoplasty as children are often doing so because when their ears are especially prominent, it can result in teasing and ridicule from their peers. Otoplasty can help children avoid this kind of treatment and lay the groundwork for healthy development of social skills. Many adult patients who seek otoplasty do so because the shape of their ears makes them self-conscious, which in turn can have an adverse effect on their self-esteem and interpersonal relationships. By undergoing cosmetic ear surgery, patients can reduce the prominence of their ears, allowing them to enjoy a more “normal” appearance. Anyone considering cosmetic ear surgery should be frank with their surgeon concerning their goals, both physical and psychological.
Consult a Plastic Surgeon in Your Area
The best way to ensure that the results of cosmetic ear surgery meet your hopes and expectations is to find a skilled, qualified surgeon with whom you feel comfortable exactly what you hope to achieve. The more you know about your surgeon’s experience and track record, the more confidence you can have in your decision to undergo otoplasty. By choosing the right surgeon, you can greatly increase your chances of achieving results that will give you many years of satisfaction with your appearance, as well as with your emotional well-being. DocShop’s directory of doctors can help you locate a plastic surgeon in your area today.