How to Choose an Ear Surgeon
Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is an excellent method of correcting abnormally sized or shaped ears for both children and adults. However, before commencing treatment, there are many factors to consider, such as the benefits and risks of the procedure, to determine whether it is right for you. Additionally, you may be challenged with finding a surgeon that you feel comfortable with to perform the surgery. Having the right ear plastic surgeon can make a significant, positive impact on the outcome of the procedure, and patients should consider their choice of doctor carefully. Be sure to ask the necessary questions to ensure your plastic surgeon is qualified and experienced enough to handle your specific needs. Below is a comprehensive outline of information, including what to look for in a doctor and what questions to ask, that will help guide you in your search for a qualified ear plastic surgeon.
What to Look for in an Ear Surgeon
The four most important qualities to look for in an ear surgeon are:
Experience - You should choose a surgeon with both experience in practice, as well as experience performing otoplasty surgeries. Often times a well-established surgeon may have performed few ear surgeries or a newer physician may have performed a high number of ear pinning or ear plastic surgeries. Find a seasoned physician who is extensively trained and familiar with the delicate nature of the ears.
Results - You should be able to see a surgeon's results on previous patients, particularly those with cases that are similar to yours. Ask your surgeon to see before and after photos, so you can evaluate his or her ability to achieve your desired outcome from the surgery.
Hospital privileges - When an ear surgeon has hospital privileges it demonstrates that they have a good reputation in the medical community and are capable of handling a wide range of surgical needs. Some doctors have privileges at multiple hospitals, while others have privileges at just one - the amount of locations usually has more to do with the number of available hospitals in the area than it does the abilities of the surgeon.
Personal attention - When patients meet with a doctor, they should feel confident that he or she is attentive to their individual needs. There should be a sense of trust and mutual respect that makes the patient feel at ease with the decision to undergo surgery. Additionally, patients should leave the initial consult with realistic expectations about the outcome of their procedure.
Is It Necessary to Find an Otoplasty Specialist?
It is not necessary to find a surgeon whose entire practice focuses on otoplasty. However, a specialist might be the right choice for patients with severe ear deformities or injury, or those who feel more comfortable with an otoplasty specialist. There are many cosmetic surgeons who might offer ear pinning, but that does not mean they are experts in the type of otoplasty surgery your case requires. Physicians who specialize in facial plastic surgery are more likely to perform otoplasty on a regular basis and have specific training in craniofacial procedures. Ultimately, patients must meet the ear surgeon in person to truly know whether he or she is the best choice.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
The following are examples of questions to ask your ear surgeon or otoplasty specialist during an initial consultation:
- How often do you perform otoplasty?
- How many otoplasty surgeries have you performed?
- Do you perform otoplasty on children? If yes, how frequently?
- Are you board certified? If no, why not?
- Do you have before-and-after pictures of your otoplasty patients that I can see?
- Do you offer complimentary surgical revision should the need arise?
- Do you have any additional training or specialization in otolaryngology?
Finding an ear surgeon for your young son or daughter is a delicate matter. Both the child and the doctor should feel comfortable with each other. Trusting a stranger with a scary thing like surgery can be difficult, especially for young children. An experienced ear surgeon knows how to interact with kids, explain the procedure clearly, and will take extra steps to help them feel safe and secure.
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Use DocShop to Find a Plastic Surgeon in Your Area
To find an otoplasty specialist or ear surgeon near you, search DocShop's directory of facial plastic surgeons in your area. With a comprehensive listing of doctors organized by community and state, locating an expert physician is easier than ever.
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