Ears are important parts of the human anatomy and they provide balance to the body as well as face. In addition, they are also the organs that allow us hearing, and without that sense, learning disabilities are bound to crop up. As a matter of fact, there are several studies that have shown that people who have hearing impairments, often have trouble speaking too. So, the ears are extremely important, which is why more and more people are now concentrating on surgeries to ensure their good health and precise shape.
Of late, ear reshaping has become really popular and while most people would think that it is the same as otoplasty, there is actually a subtle difference between the two and in this duo articles, we will examine exactly the same.
Ear reshaping, also known as pinnaplasty, can be used to reshape ears that could have been damaged due to an accident or due to certain congenital conditions. For instance, if a person has ears that are extremely ill shaped or protrude too much, then you would undergo an ear reshaping procedure.
Ear reshaping for protruding ears:
Ears that protrude could be due to a genetic issue or it could be a one off in the family. However, the condition presents itself when there is excess cartilage or the ridge that is created on the top of the ear is not folding properly. The condition could also be caused due to an injury or accident.
There are two main methods of reshaping protruding ears and those include:
Ear splinting – In this process, the soft cartilage is reset and a splint is used to help keep the new ear in place. This process is normally used in infants, especially those who are younger than six months. The reason why this procedure is conducted at such a young age, is because post this the cartilage starts hardening and then the procedure becomes much tougher. In addition, this procedure is not actually surgical in nature, which is why it is considered as the first step for infants.
Pinnaplasty – In this procedure, the cartilage itself is remodelled, and the folds that might have been missing are created. In addition, the ear is positioned is closer to the head, offering it a little more proportion. However, this is a procedure that can be conducted only after a certain amount of maturity in the cartilage and age. Normally, this procedure is done on adults or children who are at least five years of age. If the process is done on children younger than that, there is a chance that the surgery might not be a success, because the cartilage would be too soft and the stitches would not hold. Generally, even the surgeons would prefer to complete the procedure on someone who is able to understand the instructions being given.
The reasons for ear reshaping:
While protruding ears might not hamper the hearing of the person, it could certainly lead to psychological issues and could cause embarrassment as well. If the condition presents itself in children, it can certainly cause damage for the long term, because other children are bound to make fun of the protruding ears. As a matter of fact, studies conducted at several schools showed that children with even slightly protruding ears were subjects of bullying.
If it is adults who have protruding ears, they too could suffer embarrassment and be made fun of. However, they could have more practical problems, such as not being able to wear certain hats or winter wear, meant to cover the ears. In addition, they could also have trouble wearing helmets. Women who have protruding ears could have trouble wearing accessories or might have to hide their ears, behind hairstyles.
The things you need to know in advance:
Before you go in for any kind of surgery, there are a few details that you need to know in advance and these include:
- You need to enquire about how much the surgery will cost, because there is a possibility that your insurance company might consider this a cosmetic procedure and refuse to pay for the same. In case you are paying for the surgery on your own, you should know about all the factors involved. The final cost of such surgical procedure will include factors such as the surgeon’s fees, costs related to the medical facilities and material being used, including anaesthesia and fees of the support staff. You will also have to pay for a range of tests and medical evaluations that your doctor might suggest before and after the surgery.
- Due to the sedation or anaesthesia given to you for the procedure, you are bound to be slightly groggy or disoriented post-surgery. This is why it is important that you enquire about where you will be taken, immediately after the surgery and how long you will be kept there. You should ask about when you will be able to return home and more importantly, when you will be able to resume your regular activities, including exercise. If bandages are being placed, then you will need to ask about how you will have to take care of them and when they will be removed. The same goes for stitches and sutures.
- You should also discuss at length what kind of results you can expect from the surgery and how to keep your hopes realistic. More importantly, you need to understand all the possible risks and side effects associated with the surgery.
In the continuing article, we will further our understanding about ear reshaping.