Ears that excessively protrude from the head can have a considerable negative impact on one's self-esteem, whether it be a child or an adult. Through otoplasty, prominent ears can be corrected at any age after four - early enough to prevent the psychological effects of bullying. Many adults choose to undergo otoplasty to improve self-confidence and be more satisfied with the appearance of their ears.
Traditionally, otoplasty surgery had been performed under general anesthesia or twilight sedation in a surgical suite. Jacob D. Steiger, M.D., a South Florida otoplasty expert, performs most adult otoplasty surgeries with only a local anesthetic (patients are not put to sleep), while children do need to be put to sleep for the surgery.
"Using advanced ear nerve block techniques, we are able to perform this surgery pain-free on adult patients while they are awake," explains Dr. Steiger. "This adds a level of convenience for our adult patients who want to drive themselves to the office, have surgery, and drive themselves home."
During otoplasty, the abnormally shaped ear cartilage is re-sculpted to create a natural-looking ear, and a balanced relationship between the head and the ear is established.
Incisions, allowing access to the ear cartilage, are hidden behind the ear and not visible after the surgery.
Sutures are used to reinforce the cartilage.
Occasionally, a small amount of cartilage may be removed if the ear is over-developed.
"Undergoing this one to two hour procedure can drastically, positively change an adult's or child's self-image, therefore greatly improving his or her quality of life," said Dr. Steiger. "Once the adult or child undergoes otoplasty once, it will not need to be done again."
Dr. Steiger says that most patients go home comfortably after the procedure, and return to a normal routine within a week.
A head bandage, placed to protect the ears, is removed one day after the procedure. However, patients are asked to wear a headband at night for six weeks following the surgery.
He says that patients need to avoid vigorous physical activity for one week after the surgery, and it is important to avoid aggressive manipulation or trauma to the ear for six weeks after the surgery.
Children are restricted in gym class and sports for two weeks, in order to assist with the healing process.
"There are rare cases in which I'll perform otoplasty on one side only," said Dr. Steiger. "In these instances, I take meticulous measurements to verify the position of both ears."
A dull throbbing of the ears, which may be experienced for a few days after the surgery, can be relieved with a mild pain medication, prescribed by Dr. Steiger.
An accomplished, double board-certified, Ivy League-trained physician, Jacob D. Steiger, M.D., Facial Plastic Surgeon, specializes exclusively in plastic surgery of the face. The 5,000-square-foot modern Steiger Facial Plastic Surgery/1001 Aesthetic Medical Center in Boca Raton, Florida features luxurious treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art surgical center with an operating room and overnight suite. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or to book a spa treatment, call 561-499-9339, toll-free at 866-994-FACE (3223) or visit www.drsteiger.com. Steiger Facial Plastic Surgery/1001 Aesthetic Medical Center is located at 1001 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33432.