American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Ear Surgery

Otoplasty

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth, or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

Ear surgery risks and safety

The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the risks and potential complications of ear surgery. Only you can make that decision for yourself.

You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo, the alternatives and the most likely risks and potential complications.

Possible ear surgery risks include:

  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Blood clots
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Skin discoloration/swelling
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Allergies to tape, suture materials, glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Ear surgery may be performed in your board-certified plastic surgeon's accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or a hospital. Your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.

After surgery, bandages or dressings will be applied to keep your surgical site clean, protect it from trauma and to support the new position of the ear during initial healing.

You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to take care of your ears following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

When you go home

Should any complications occur, notify your plastic surgeon who will determine if any additional treatment is needed.

Be careful

Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, sunlight or tanning bed light, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

It's very important to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.



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