Protruding or bat ear have a profound psychological effect on the growing child. The correction of this deformity is called as otoplasty (ear correction) or pinning back of the ears. This is a procedure that is done once the growth of the ear cartilage is complete i.e. after the child is 6 years old. This condition is ideally treated before it causes psychological stress and trauma to the person.
BEFORE EAR SURGERY
We will evaluate your medical history and will advise you with regards to cessation of smoking and medications containing aspirin. The ears will be examined, evaluated and photographed. It should be kept in mind that the two ears are never symmetrical and some difference in their shape is bound to stay. The angle between the ear and the head is calculated.
The areas that will be excised or reshaped are marked and digital photographs taken in order to document the amount of improvement after surgery.
It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. An incision is made on the back of the ear in the crease and the cartilage is exposed. The cartilage is modified (excised or reshaped) depending on the preop plan. The angle between the ear and the head is reduced and permanent stitches are used to retain the ear in the new position. The incision is closed with stitches under the skin and a fluffy cotton dressing is done. Bandage is placed on the ear to help in healing. The procedure takes only a couple of hours.
Patients should be careful not to sleep on the sides for about 3 weeks. The bandage should be retained for a couple of days after which a head band will have to be worn for about 4 weeks.Pain and bruising near the ear are expected but is controlled by medication. Normal activity can be started in 2-3 days. The ear should not be pulled or stretched till complete healing has taken place as relapses are possible due to the ‘memory’ of cartilage.
Incisions may be cleaned with dilute peroxide and coated with bactroban cream as needed.
Increase activity as tolerated with no heavy exercise for two weeks.
After dressing is removed, wear a support band at least for three to six weeks. The more it can be worn the first week, the better.