Frequently Asked Questions about Otoplasty

What is a prominent ear?

A prominent ear, also known as separate ear, cup loop or Dumbo ear, is the one that projects too much of the temporal surface of the head. The ear normally forms an angle of 21-25 degrees to the head. An angle greater than 25 degrees can cause the ears to look too prominent when viewed from the front or the person’s back.

At what age has the ear reached 85% of its adult size? When should otoplasty be performed?

At three years. Therefore, the ideal period to perform otoplasty ranges from three years to before the start of school age, so that the child avoids the psychological trauma of being ridiculed by his or her schoolmates.

What are the normal proportions of the ear?

The width of the ear generally corresponds to 50-60% of its length, with an average of 3 to 4.5 cm width and an average length of 5.5 to 7 cm. The front ear extends from above the eyebrow to the base of the nose at the bottom. Laterally it lies at a distance of one ear behind the external orbital rim.

Is it possible to correct the deformity of a prominent ear by skin excision only?

No. Although during otoplasty skin is almost always dry, it is done to prevent it being redundant in the retroauricular fold (behind the ear) rather than to maintain the position of the ear closer to the head. Although it may initially be assumed that this procedure has some beneficial effect on the position of the ear, with the passage of time the skin elasticity inevitably results in the ear again separated. Therefore, in otoplasty must the cartilage must be fastened to the periosteum of the head.

What is the most likely cause for the patient experiencing pain suddenly after otoplasty?

The hematoma. The onset of persistent unilateral pain should lead us to consider the existence of a hematoma and justifies the removal of the dressing to make an assessment. Often the evacuation of the blood clot is obtained after removing some stitches and then a slight compression of the area shoul be applied.

How should the area be treated after surgery?

A dressing of cotton and / or a light gauze bandage is applied. This dressing is removed in the first days after surgery. Sutures should be removed in 1 week, and the patient is instructed to use an elastic skier band over the ears for 2 or 3 weeks.

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