Otoplasty The Woodlands

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Otoplasty, otherwise known as “ear pinning,” is a commonly performed procedure that improves the shape, positioning and size of the ears.

best plastic surgeon otoplasty The Woodlands TXThis procedure will make your ears more proportional to the head and face. In most cases, Otoplasty is performed on patients with a defect in the ear structure that was present from birth. As the child grows and develops, the condition becomes more apparent. It is also effective for the treatment of misshapen ears caused by an accident or injury.

Using the Otoplasty procedure, Dr. Rivela can reposition protruding ears, reduce ear size and reshape bends in cartilage creating a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Dr. Rivela, one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the Greater Houston area, has successfully performed many Otoplasty surgeries.

Protruding ears can be psychologically damaging for children and adults alike. In elementary school, as children begin noticing differences between themselves and others, it often leads to teasing and name-calling by peers. During this critical time in the development of self-esteem, long-lasting negative results can occur. Adults dealing with this problem often find creative ways of concealing it—for example, with hairstyles—as they go about their daily routines. Correction with Otoplasty can benefit not only a patient’s appearance, but their self-esteem as well.

Children who are good candidates for surgery are:

  • At least five years old with ear cartilage stable enough for correction
  • In good physical health with no chronic or untreated ear infections
  • Cooperative and follows instructions well
  • Able to communicate feelings and voice no objections in discussing surgery

Teenagers and adults who are good candidates are:

  • In good, overall physical health
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook, specific surgical goals and realistic expectations

Your Consultation with Dr. Rivela

Surgical success will greatly depend upon full disclosure during the consultation and carefully following all of Dr. Rivela’s instructions. Your personal consultation is the chance for interacting and setting up a surgical game plan. Be prepared to ask all the questions you have. Our concern is you and your well-being.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you or your child have chosen to have surgery, surgical expectations and desired outcome
  • Options available in Otoplasty
  • All medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • All medications currently being taken including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Rivela may also:

  • Evaluate overall general health status and discuss any pre-existing conditions or risk factors
  • Take measurements of each ear
  • Take photographs for medical records
  • Discuss your surgical options and recommend procedure
  • Discuss likely outcomes and discuss risks or possible complications

Please contact Rivela Plastic Surgery for any questions you may have about this, or any other, cosmetic enhancement you are considering. We look forward to setting up your one-on-one, personal consultation with Dr. Rivela.

Your Procedure

Dr. Rivela usually performs Otoplasty at a surgical center under general or local anesthesia. Depending upon the patient, it may take anywhere from 1-4 hours. The ear, covered by a thin layer of skin, is made up of cartilage that will be accessed through incisions made behind the ear. Using internal stitches, Dr. Rivela will mold and manipulate the cartilage creating an ear proportionate to the head. To close the incision, he will use external stitches for later removal.

Anesthesia: General

Location of operation: Hospital or surgery center

Length of surgery: 1-4 hours

Length of stay: Outpatient (home same day)

Your Recovery Notes

Discomfort after Otoplasty: Pain level will be moderate and in most cases, Tylenol will control it. It is important not to put pressure on the ear area. Sleeping patterns may be slightly disrupted if accustomed to sleeping on your side. It is important to keep your head elevated at all times for the first week of recovery.

Swelling and Bruising: Mild swelling may persist for several weeks, and bruising will normally disappear between 7-10 days.

Bandages: After your surgery, an ear protector will be placed over the ears and worn for several days and a light head dressing similar to a headband will be used at night providing support. It is normal to have an itchy feeling under the bandages, but it is essential that they remain intact and are not removed for any reason. Removal could result in loss of correction.

Stitches: In most cases, stitches will either dissolve or be removed in about a week. If internal, non-removable stitches are used to help provide structural support, they will remain.

Make-up: Wearing glasses is not allowed for 1-2 weeks.

Work: You should feel well enough to return to work in 7-10 days. Children should be able to return to school in the same time frame.

Exercise: You should avoid bending for a week. No exercise or lifting for 4-6 weeks.

Final result: 6-9 weeks.

Otoplasty FAQs

Am I a good candidate?

Children from about five years old with developed ear structure who have the ability to reason well and are not resistant to the idea of surgery are good candidates. In addition, the patient should have overall good health with no current or chronic ear infections.

Adults who are in good physical health, are non-smokers and have realistic expectations about outcome are good candidates. Although cosmetic enhancement may help increase satisfaction in day-to-day living, it is not a substitute for mental health issues. These should be addressed and treated only by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

What factors should be considered when selecting a surgeon?

Experience and training are very important. With many years of experience in performing plastic surgery, Dr. Rivela has trained under some of the country’s leading plastic surgeons and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and many other medical societies. By popular vote, he was also named “Best Plastic Surgeon” by Woodlands Online in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Are there different types of Otoplasty?

The procedures will vary depending on what is being corrected. Several things that are typically corrected are deep concha, or cup of the ear, lack of fold development and various abnormalities of the cartilage. Dr. Rivela can also repair damage due to accident or injury.

What is the cost?

The cost of surgery varies on a case-by-case basis. It is possible that your insurance may help cover this procedure for your child, but it is normally considered strictly cosmetic for adults.  Our office offers Care Credit®, with convenient monthly payment and no annual fees.

How should I prepare?

Eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest. Make sure to follow Dr. Rivela’s instructions carefully, ensuring a speedy recovery. Adults who smoke should quit before surgery. Smoking decreases blood flow which may result in increased healing time and risk of infection.

Are there risks?

Risk of complication is very minimal for otoplasty surgery in relation to outcome. In rare cases, the Otoplasty reverts and may need to be corrected later. After explaining all risk, Dr. Rivela will have you sign a release form stating all the risks and authorizing him to perform surgery.

What are the benefits?  beautiful ears beautiful you

For a child, it can help to level the playing field in the vulnerable time during development of self-esteem. Not only will the adult patient look and feel better, they will be released from the everyday rituals involved in making sure their ears are covered.