One of the most common types of procedure for the ear is the earlobe repair (repair of torn earlobes). These procedures often help those who are frustrated with the holes created for earrings which have torn all the way to the edge of the earlobe. It also can repair the large holes in earlobes created by trendy "plugs" or "gauges", which are common for both men and women.
Cutting a small notch on the torn lobe then meticulously stitching the lobe back together is generally how this procedure is performed. Those patients wanting to re-pierce the lobe can do so after about 6 weeks. See several photos of this procedure in our Before & After Gallery.
Another type of ear surgery (otoplasty) can be performed to reposition protruding ears, correct deformities and awkward folding, adjust contour and size as well, as repair torn earlobes. While this procedure does not alter a patients’ hearing it may improve appearance resulting in a dramatic increase in self-confidence.
The procedure is generally performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about 2 hours. To reposition the prominent or protruding portion of the ear closer to the head, your surgeon will make a small incision behind the ear to expose ear cartilage. The cartilage is then sculpted to bend the ear back closer to the head.
Ear deformities such as "lop-ear deformity," where the fold of hard raised cartilage in the upper portion of the ear does not form, can be corrected by placing permanent stitches in the upper ear cartilage to create a fold. In time, scar tissue forms, reinforcing the folds ability to stay in place. Other deformities of the ear, whether congenital or due to trauma, often are corrected by using rib cartilage, an implant or a patients’ own soft tissue. A closed ear, seen in infants, can be surgically opened and reshaped to look similar to the other ear. If a patients’ hearing is intact, surgically opening the ear can provide the ability to hear normally.
There are many benefits to having ear surgery, including cosmetic, form and function. The psychological benefit following ear surgery can often surpass a patients’ expectation. Our cosmetic surgeons at Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery would love to meet with you to answer other questions you may have and further explain the procedure in a consultation. A consultation will allow you to make an informed decision if this procedure is right for you, so call our office at (720) 457-4471 today!
Types of Anethesia
At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, you will have your surgical procedure performed in one of the only dedicated cosmetic surgery centers in Colorado that is both fully state licensed and The Joint Commission Accredited . We are proud to care for your anesthesia needs with one of our board certified anesthesiologists from South Denver Anesthesia. Our board certified anesthesiologists will be with you from beginning to end insuring your comfort during the surgical procedure. Anesthesia choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor and anesthesiologist will recommend the best choice for you.
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty & Risk
Ear surgery is relatively straightforward. But as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Preparing for Surgery
Planning your cosmetic or reconstructive procedure will be an effort that our staff will carefully guide you through. It is important to recognize that each individual will recover at a different rate so be sure you set aside adequate recovery time from work and strenuous activity to allow your body to heal. This will ensure a smooth recovery and a more rapid return to normal activities. It is also important to have a supportive care group around you especially during the initial 24-72 hours after surgery.
At least 1 month prior to surgery
Stop smoking at least 1 month prior to your procedure. Smoking reduces circulation to the skin, impedes healing, and can lead to major postoperative complications.
2 weeks prior to surgery
Stop all medications that can thin the blood 2 weeks prior to surgery. These include drugs such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Lovenox, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, and multiple herbal preparations. These medications may cause bleeding during and after surgery. Please see the warning about blood thinning medications on our website for a list of drugs that must be stopped.
1 week prior to surgery
Report any sign of a cold or infection that appear the week prior to your surgery. You may need to postpone your procedure to avoid unnecessary complications. Make sure you fill all of your prescriptions provided to you by our doctors prior to your surgery day; this will make the transition from the surgery center to your home as smooth as possible.
The day before surgery
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. This includes water, ice, or hard candy. The only exception is that you may take your blood pressure or heart medication with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
The day of surgery
Plan to wear loose fitting clothes to the procedure, preferrable with a zipper in the front. Do not wear jewelry or bring valuables with you, except for your ID and insurance card. You may wash your surgical site with regular soap the day before and morning of surgery. You must arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home after your procedure.
What to Expect on the Day of Surgery
When you arrive, you will be escorted to a preoperative evaluation area where you will be asked to change into a gown and will be given foot covers. Your surgeon and the anesthesiologist will meet with you before you enter the operating room suite. During this time, the surgical consent form will be reviewed with you in detail and special markings may be made on your skin at the surgical site. You will have the opportunity to ask any last minute questions.
Once in the operating room, you will be transferred to our padded operating room table. A nurse will start an intravenous drip in your arm and connect you to monitoring devices. The anesthesiologist will give you medication through your intravenous drip to make you feel drowsy.
When your surgery is completed and your dressings are in place, you will be moved to the recovery room. During this period a recovery room nurse will assure your comfort and continue to monitor you closely.
Your stay in the recovery room will last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Most patients are fully awake within 30 to 60 minutes after their surgery, but may not remember much about their time in the recovery room due to some of the anesthesia medication. Once you are ready for discharge, a postoperative appointment will be scheduled and your discharge instructions will be reviewed.
You must have a responsible adult drive you home from the surgery center. This individual should have your prescription filled at the pharmacy prior to taking you home. A responsible adult must stay with you the first night after your surgery because you have been sedated.
Driving: No driving if on prescription pain medicine.
Activity: You may walk and climb stairs immediately following surgery. Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use 2-3 pillows for first week following procedure. After 2 weeks, you may resume moderate activity such as brisk walking. After 4 weeks, you may resume more strenuous aerobic work and lifting activities. Avoid unprotected prolonged sun exposure for 6 months to prevent pigmentation of incision lines.
Work: Depending on your career and your rate of healing, you should be able to return to work immediately or within a few days of surgery. Your surgeon will be able to give you a better estimate depending on your physical and professional profile.
Wound Care: Your surgeon will take down your dressing at your first post-operative visit. Do not remove your dressing at home. Your dressing may get wet in the shower. Try to direct the shower to your back, but it is fine if the dressing gets wet. Pat dry after your shower.
Bathing: You may shower and wash your hair 48 hours after surgery. Shower only for the first 30 days post-operative. Try to keep the shower directed at your back and not at your incision or dressing. It is okay if the dressing gets wet in the shower. Pat it dry after your shower. For the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, do not submerge in a bathtub, pool, or hot tub.
Medications: Ask your surgeon when you may resume your blood thinning medications. All other prescription medications may be resumed immediately, as usual. If you are taking pain medicine, you are encouraged to follow a high fiber diet or take a stool softener such as Colace (available over the counter), as pain medications tend to cause constipation. If you are not taking prescription pain mediation, over-the-counter pain medication may be used, as needed, per instructions on the bottle.
Smoking & Alcohol: Do not smoke for the first several weeks after surgery as it impedes wound healing and can lead to serious wound complications. Alcohol consumption is dangerous while taking pain medicine. It has a tendency to worsen bleeding.
Post-Operative Appointment: Your first follow-up visit will be 1 week after surgery. Your surgeon will then see you at appropriate intervals after this to monitor your progress.
Special Considerations: CALL your surgeon immediately if you experience any of the following: excessive pain, bleeding, redness at the incision site, or fever over 101° F.
Pain: If you experience severe pain not relieved by pain medicine, notify your surgeon immediately. Some discomfort is expected after surgery and is usually relieved by over-the-counter pain medication.
Delayed Wound Healing Or Wound Dehiscence: In some instances, the incision site takes longer to heal than normal. Cigarette smoking, poor nutritional status and a compromised immune system can all cause delayed wound healing or wound separation.
To learn more about ear repair surgery, contact our board certified plastic surgeons at Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery in Lone Tree serving Denver and all of Colorado. You can schedule a free cosmetic consultation by calling (720) 457-4471 to take a tour of our state-of-the-art facility.