Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) in the Inland Empire
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, we all know what it’s like to not feel confident about our appearance. It happens to the best of us. And while we understand that it’s our uniqueness that makes us extraordinary, it’s hard to feel whole and self-assured when there’s a small part of us that doesn’t fit with the rest.
For many of our patients, the ears can be a source of great unease and insecurity. Prominent, overly large, or cupped (also known as lopped ears) ears may seem unsightly to some people, and they can sometimes seem ill-proportioned when compared a person’s face.
Thankfully, it is possible to create more balanced, subtle ears with a procedure called otoplasty, also known as cosmetic ear surgery. At Second To Creation in Ontario, CA, Dr. Machida performs otoplasty to resize overly large ears, pin back ears that simply stick out too much, or reconstruct ears suffering from noticeable deformities.
What Otoplasty Can Treat
Many of the problems with an ill-proportioned ear stems from developmental problems. The ear is made up of a cartilaginous structure covered by a thin layer of skin, and sometimes the cartilage doesn’t develop properly, leading to ears that stick out, ears that cup in, or ears that are simply too big.
Dr. Machida has a keen understanding of facial anatomy, and with otoplasty he can deftly reshape the skin and cartilage in the ear to create a more natural, balanced look. Ear surgery can fix:
- Ears that stick out
- Ears that are too big
- Lop ears/cupped ears
The Ideal Candidate for Otoplasty
Our patients for otoplasty range from elementary aged children to adults. Dr. Machida advises that parents wait until their children are around 5 years old for medical and logistical reasons. The ears need to have matured before an otoplasty is performed—and that usually happens at around 5-6 years of age. It’s also an optimal time period because the ears can be operated on before the child starts school.
Many patients consider otoplasty because they want:
- To be able to wear their hair up without exposing ears that stick out
- To be able to stop hiding their ears
- Balanced, proportional ears
Of course, many older patients undergo otoplasty. As long as a patient is in relatively good health and is a non-smoker (or is willing to stop smoking 1 week before the otoplasty), then they are an ideal candidate for an otoplasty.
How Otoplasty Is Performed
Like many of Dr. Machida’s surgical procedures, otoplasty is performed using only local anesthetic( children usually require general anesthesia). Dr. Machida is able to perform otoplasty with local anesthetic because he has the skill and experience to complete the surgery in a quick, safe procedure. And because Dr. Machida uses local anesthetic, patients don’t have to worry about nausea, waking up groggy, dizziness, or any of the side effects associated with general anesthesia.
The otoplasty will be performed in Second to Creation’s private surgical center. The otoplasty will begin by creating incisions in the back of the ear—where any scarring that develops will be easy to hide. Dr. Machida will then reshape and reduce the tissues to create a more proportionally-sized ear. Otoplasty also sutures the tissues to “pin” the ears back, or reshapes the cartilaginous structures to make sure the ears don’t stick out so prominently from the face.
After the otoplasty, patients will be able to go home on the same day.
Your Recovery from Ear Surgery
Your ears will likely be sore, swollen, and tender immediately after your otoplasty. Your ears will need to be protected while they heal, so they will be covered with a protective wrap 3 days after the otoplasty. These coverings will need to stay on day and night for 1-2 weeks, and after that you can switch to only wearing them at night for 4-6 weeks. You’ll also be advised to refrain from any strenuous activity or working out for about a month. The patient will be asked to stay at home from school or work for at least a week.
Patients will be able to see an immediate improvement after the otoplasty, but over the next few weeks, they should also see a gradual improvement as the tissues in the ears slowly heal and settle into their new shape.
To many of our patients, otoplasty isn’t just another cosmetic procedure: it’s a chance to attain a more natural, balanced appearance once and for all. If you or a loved one would like a chance to be free from unsightly ears, contact Second to Creation’s office in the Inland Empire now for a consultation.
Ear Surgery Ontario - FAQs
Since otoplasty surgery is elective, it is not covered by insurance in most cases. However, if the operation is indicated to correct a medical issue, insurance may cover a portion.
In many cases, otoplasty is possible for children as young as four. However, several parents choose to wait until the child is at least seven so the child can actively participate in their aftercare. In addition, children at this stage are better suited to handle recovery. If the child is distressed at the idea of surgery, it’s best to wait until they become older and more psychologically mature.
Most patients see immediate results. However, the final benefits take several weeks after the swelling subsides. Dr. Machida will explain the otoplasty recovery process in detail during your pre-surgical appointments.
With proper after-surgery care, otoplasty is a very safe and satisfying operation that carries little risk. While rare, possible ear surgery complications include reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, blood clots, unfavorable scarring, asymmetry, and cosmetic dissatisfaction.
We may ask you to obtain a medical evaluation by your primary care physician to ensure you or your child is in good health.
It takes at least six weeks for half the swelling to subside, 80% after six months, and a year after surgery before you see optimal results. However, the ear appearance will remarkably improve after two or three weeks. The shape will be readily noticeable after this short period.
Dr. Machida takes care to make incisions in places where they’ll heal discreetly, like behind the ears. Occasionally there could be a scar at the front, but hidden within the ear fold.
Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS
Located in the Heart of Inland Empire
Restored Faces…Transformed Lives. Excellence, experience, caring, professionalism, and amazing results are all part of the experience you’ll receive as part of your incredible experience at STC Plastic Surgery