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Ear Surgery – Otoplasty In Singapore

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Dr Marco Faria Correa is an internationally trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with over 35 years of experience. Adopting internationally-acclaimed surgical techniques and adhering to the principles of patience and quality care for each of his patients, Dr Marco has gained trust amongst a global patient base. He has been granted privileges in over 23 hospitals worldwide, including some of Singapore’s most highly regarded medical facilities.

Among the range of procedures Dr Marco offers is the Ear Surgery (Otoplasty).

What is Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?

Ear surgery, commonly referred to as otoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to modify the ears’ shape, size, or position. It’s commonly used to correct deformities like protruding ears (also termed ‘bat ears’), overly large ears (macrotia), or structural issues resulting from injury or birth defects. The goal of otoplasty is not only to improve the cosmetic appearance of the ears but also to enhance self-confidence and psychological wellbeing in individuals self-conscious about their ears.

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Otoplasty Procedure

Initial Consultation
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The journey towards otoplasty begins with an initial consultation. During this session, we discuss the patient’s aesthetic goals, examine the structure of the ears, and evaluate the overall health to determine suitability for the procedure. A customised treatment plan is developed, tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

Pre-operative Assessment
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Before the surgery, a comprehensive pre-operative assessment is conducted. This involves detailed medical evaluations to ensure the patient is fit for surgery. The assessment might include blood tests, imaging studies, and a review of the patient’s medical history.

Patients are told how to prepare for the surgery, including guidelines on fasting, medication adjustments, and other pre-surgical instructions.

Surgical Procedure
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  • Anaesthesia: The surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity and patient preference.
  • Making incisions: Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimise visible scarring.
  • Sculpting: The surgeon sculpts the cartilage to achieve the desired ear shape and position.
  • Closing incisions: The incisions are then secured with internal stitches.
Post-operative Care
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After the surgery, patients are moved to a recovery area where they are closely monitored. Patients receive detailed instructions on how to care for their ears, including cleaning protocols, medication for pain and infection prevention, and guidelines on sleeping positions and physical activities.

Follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor the healing process and remove any stitches if necessary.

Advantages of Otoplasty

Otoplasty offers several advantages that contribute to a patient’s overall wellbeing. Benefits include:

  • Improved Aesthetics: Otoplasty effectively addresses issues such as overly large ears, protruding ears, or asymmetrical ears, enhancing facial harmony and balance. The aesthetic improvement can boost self-confidence and self-esteem in individuals who are self-conscious about the appearance of their ears.
  • Permanent Results: The changes made during an otoplasty are generally permanent. This long-lasting nature of the results means that patients can enjoy the benefits of the surgery for a lifetime, without the need for repeated procedures.
  • Minimal Scarring: The incisions made during otoplasty are typically hidden behind the ear or within its natural creases, resulting in minimal, often unnoticeable scarring.
  • Quick Recovery: Compared to other cosmetic surgeries, otoplasty usually has a shorter and less complicated recovery period. Most patients can resume normal activities within a week, and full recovery is often achieved within a few weeks.
  • Enhanced Psychological Wellbeing: For many, especially children and teenagers, ear abnormalities can lead to teasing and bullying, impacting their social interactions and psychological health. Otoplasty can lead to improved social engagement and mental health.
  • Safe for Children and Adults: Otoplasty is a safe procedure for both children (typically post the age of five when the ears have fully developed) and adults, making it a viable option for a wide age range.

Ideal Candidates for Otoplasty

The criteria for an ideal candidate includes:

Age
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Children are typically considered suitable candidates for otoplasty once their ears have reached full size, usually around the age of 5. Early intervention can be beneficial in preventing psychological distress caused by ear-related teasing during school years. Adults of any age can undergo otoplasty as long as they are in good health.

General Health
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Individuals should be in good overall health and free from any medical conditions that might impair healing or increase surgical risk. This includes chronic ear infections, untreated diabetes, or heart conditions.

Realistic Expectations
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Candidates should have a clear and realistic expectation of the results and understand that the goal is improvement, not perfection.

Non-smokers or Willing to Quit
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Smoking can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. Smokers should quit or at least refrain from smoking for a specified period before and after the surgery.

Psychological Readiness
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Especially in children, the psychological readiness for surgery and its outcomes should be assessed. Candidates should be emotionally stable and prepared for the physical changes that will occur.

Specific Ear Problems
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Individuals with concerns like protruding ears, asymmetrical ears, or dissatisfaction with previous ear surgeries are good candidates for otoplasty.

Results and Longevity of Otoplasty

Patients considering this procedure can anticipate the following in terms of outcomes and longevity:

  • Immediate Visual Improvements: The results of otoplasty are typically visible immediately after the removal of bandages, with most patients noticing an improvement in the shape, position, and symmetry of their ears.
  • Natural-Looking Outcome: The goal of otoplasty is to create ears that are in proportion with the face and look natural. Surgeons aim to correct deformities while maintaining a natural ear shape, ensuring that the results do not appear “overdone.”
  • Long-Lasting Changes: The modifications made to the ear cartilage during otoplasty are permanent.
  • Gradual Refinement: While the initial improvement is noticeable immediately, the final, refined results can take several weeks to manifest fully, as swelling subsides and the ears heal.
  • Minimal Impact on Ear Function: The surgery usually does not affect the inner ear structures responsible for hearing, meaning there is no negative impact on auditory function.
  • Psychological Benefits: The long-term psychological benefits of otoplasty, such as increased self-esteem and confidence, can impact overall quality of life.

Our Clinic Location

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Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
#10-26/27, 38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore 329563

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    At what age is otoplasty recommended?

    Otoplasty is typically recommended for children aged 5, as the ears have usually reached their full size by this age. The procedure is also commonly performed on teenagers and adults.

    How long does the otoplasty procedure take?

    The duration of the otoplasty procedure can vary but typically takes about two to three hours.

    Is otoplasty painful?

    Patients may experience some discomfort following the procedure, but this is usually manageable with prescribed pain medication. The level of pain varies from person to person but is generally minimal.

    What is the recovery time for otoplasty?

    Recovery times can vary, but most patients can return to work or school within a week. Full recovery, including the complete subsidence of swelling and final shaping of the ears, may take up to six weeks.

    Are there any risks associated with otoplasty?

    As with any surgical procedure, otoplasty carries some risks, including infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. These risks are minimal when the surgery is performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon.

    Will there be visible scars after otoplasty?

    Any scarring from otoplasty is typically minimal and strategically placed in inconspicuous locations, such as behind the ear or within its natural creases.

    Can otoplasty affect hearing?

    Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that alters the external structure of the ears and does not affect the inner ear mechanisms responsible for hearing.

    How permanent are the results of otoplasty?

    The results of otoplasty are generally permanent. The changes made to the ear cartilage during the procedure are designed to last a lifetime.

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