The cost of otoplasty depends on various factors such as the type of deformity, pre-surgical evaluations, operating room fees, drugs, and follow-up visits. This write-up provides information on this ear-reshaping surgery.
Ear deformities can surely affect one’s physical appearance in a big way. Children who are born with ears that are not proportionate to the size of their head or ears that protrude from the sides, are often subjected to ridicule. This can lower their self-confidence to a great extent. People with unusually-shaped ears can undergo otoplasty, which is a corrective ear-shaping plastic surgery.
Ideal Candidates for This Surgery
Otoplasty can be performed on children as well as adults. If the surgery is being performed on a child, it must be ensured that the child’s ears are fully developed. By the time one completes four years of age, the ears are fully developed, which is why, the surgery can be performed anytime within the age of four to fourteen years. Though adults can also undergo this procedure, the ear cartilage is softer and more pliable when one is young. So, for people who are born with enlarged ear lobes, lop ear, flattened, protruding, or asymmetrical ears, it would be a good decision to undergo this surgery at an early age. It’s important that the person having an earlobe repair, ear pinning, or ear reshaping surgery performed is healthy.
This reconstructive ear surgery involves making an incision just behind the ear. These days, many surgeons are resorting to the use of a laser for making the incision. After making an incision in the fold at the back, where the ear meets the head, the extra cartilage and skin is removed or trimmed to reduce the protrusion. The cartilage is pinned at the right place with permanent sutures, and the incision is closed. After that, a head dressing is applied. Since the patient experiences ear pain and swelling for a couple of weeks, doctors generally prescribe painkillers. After a week, the head dressing will be removed and the ears will be examined. Since the stitches are at the back of the ear, the scars stay concealed. The size of the ears is reduced, and the ears are reshaped and positioned closer to the head. So, this way the patient gets natural and symmetrical-looking ears with no visible scarring. The procedure is performed under anesthesia.
Though one can resume normal activities after a week, precautions need be taken during the recovery time. The healing period ranges from five to six weeks after the surgery. The patient must refrain from pulling or tugging at his/her ears for this period. This can affect the shape of the ears. Many doctors recommend the use of a headband at night. This is to prevent any damage to the cartilage of the newly-shaped ears. One might experience pain, headaches or dizziness post surgery, but within a week, these symptoms will disappear. As is the case with most surgical procedures, there is a risk of bleeding or infection. If you experience bleeding, then make it a point to consult your surgeon soon.
The cost of this ear-reshaping surgery depends on a variety of factors. The cost can range from USD 3,000 to USD 7,000. The expertise of the surgeon, the location of the clinic, the equipment used, the extent of deformity, and the duration of the operation are some of the factors that will determine the cost of this surgery. The total cost includes the cost of local or general anesthesia. In case of small children, general anesthesia and mild sedatives are administered whereas local anesthesia is recommended for older children and adults. The cost also includes pre-surgical evaluations, operating room fees, medications and follow-up visits. Insurance companies might reimburse the cost or a part of it, if the surgery is performed for correcting a defect caused due to a traumatic injury or a congenital ear deformity.
Since the cost of this procedure varies, depending on a variety of factors, those of you who are planning to undergo this surgery must ask the surgeon about all the details. If the cost seems to be high, you could look for other financing options.