Dallas
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

 

 

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A Patient’s Guide To
Otoplasty

     

    Dallas Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) & Ear Pinning Specialist

    An otoplasty (aka ear surgery, cosmetic ear surgery, ear-pinning surgery) is a plastic surgery procedure to correct malformed or protruding ears. During an otoplasty, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can reposition, reshape and resize the outer structure of a patient’s ears. The most common otoplasty procedure that plastic surgeons perform is ear pinning surgery. With this surgery, Dr. Law addresses ears that protrude.

    Why Would Someone Choose to Have Ear Surgery in Dallas?

    An individual may choose to have outer ear surgery to reduce the size of his or her ears, to address ears that are asymmetrical, to correct a visible birth defect or to bring ears that protrude closer to the head. In addition, with an otoplasty Dr. Law can address unwanted issues resulting from a previous ear surgery.

    What Can Dr. Law Address During Ear Surgery?

    With an otoplasty, Dr. Huay-Zong Law addresses a variety of issues.

    During ear surgery, Dr. Law can:

    • Correct prominent ears – For the majority of people, the position of the outer ear should be angled at about 15 degrees. If the angle of the outer ear to the head exceeds 25 degrees, the ears may stick out too far.
    • Modify malformed ears, as well as unusually small ears or excessively large ears, to create natural-looking ears that are more balanced – Dr. Huay-Zong Law can alter the shape of a patient’s outer ears so that they appear more balanced. If the outer ear is cupped or folded, Dr. Law uses his skill and artistic vision to reshape the patient’s ears so that they look more natural.

    Any improvements that Dr. Huay-Zong Law makes during ear surgery are permanent.

    After an Otoplasty in Dallas, Patients Experience a Boost in Their Self Esteem

    After they recover from their ear surgery, most of Dr. Law’s patients state that they feel more confident about their appearance.

    Otoplasty Procedures Are Also Available for Children

    Ear surgery to address protruding ears is one of the few plastic surgery procedures that is available to children. To spare a child the teasing that may result from having ears that protrude, misshapen ears or overly large ears, parents or guardians may want their child to have an otoplasty sooner rather than later. Once the child’s ears are fully grown, which typically occurs around the age of 5 or 6, a parent or guardian can contact Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas, to schedule an ear surgery consultation for the child. In addition, the parents or guardians of a newborn with misshapen or protruding ears should contact Law Plastic Surgery. As long as the baby is younger than eight weeks, Dr. Law may be able to address these issues with an FDA-approved non-surgical procedure.

    Early Intervention to Address Ear Abnormalities Is Advantageous for Children

    When a child has ear surgery to address oddly shaped, small or protruding ears, the likelihood that he or she will be targeted by a bully decreases substantially. Although Dr. Huay-Zong Law performs ear surgery for individuals of every age, having an otoplasty during early childhood (i.e., at 5 or 6 years of age) or ear correction with the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System directly following birth, is highly beneficial for the child.

    There Are Three Kinds of Otoplasty Procedures Available at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas

    Otoplasty procedures that Dr. Huay-Zong Law performs include:

    1. Ear Pinning

      During this procedure, to correct the angle of the ears, Dr. Law draws the patient’s ears back towards his or her head. To reduce the projection of the ear, Dr. Huay-Zong Law may use permanent stitches, or he may remove a section of cartilage and skin.

      If Dr. Law needs to create an incision, he camouflages it by placing it in the natural folds of the outer ear. Once Dr. Law angles the patient’s ears closer to his or her head, they appear less pronounced.

    2. An Ear Reduction

      Macrotia is the medical term for a condition in which an individual’s ears are larger than normal. During ear surgery to address macrotia, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can reduce the size of the patient’s ears, as well as his or her earlobes.

    3. An Ear Augmentation

      During this type of ear surgery, Dr. Law can adjust the size of the patient’s outer ear. An ear augmentation is ideal for individuals whose ears never fully developed or for those who have ears that look too small. In addition, during an ear augmentation, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can reshape a patient’s outer ears if they are malformed, folded or cupped.

    To optimize ear symmetry, Dr. Law modifies both of the patient’s ears.

    Who Is a Good Candidate for Ear Pinning Surgery?

    Dr. Huay-Zong Law performs ear pinning surgery for men, women and children who are unhappy with how far their ears protrude from their head. Unless a child’s protruding ears are addressed during infancy, he or she may be eligible for cosmetic ear surgery after turning 5 or 6.

    Nonsurgical Ear Deformity Treatment Using the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System

    There are times when Dr. Law can avoid surgery and address a baby’s misshapen or pronounced ears using the FDA-approved EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System. The EarWell® system is a pain-free solution that is specifically designed to correct infant ear malformations.

    Treatment Must Start Shortly After the Baby’s Birth

    Ideally, Dr. Huay-Zong Law wants to begin treatment within three weeks of the baby’s birth because the sooner treatment starts, the better the results. Therefore, when a baby has malformed or protruding ears and must remain in the hospital following birth (e.g., a baby is born premature), Dr. Law recommends starting ear-reshaping treatment during the baby’s hospital stay. Therefore, Dr. Huay-Zong Law is available to begin EarWell® treatments for newborns at many of the hospitals in the Dallas area.

    Why Is the Time Frame for Using the EarWell® System So Short?

    During the first few weeks of life, the cartilage of the ear is very pliable, which is why Dr. Law can use the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System to mold the baby’s ears without performing surgery. Using this revolutionary system, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can correct many ear malformations, frequently eliminating the need for an otoplasty in the future.

    If the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction treatment does not begin by the time a baby is eight weeks old, this correction method is not an effective tool for addressing malformed or protruding ears.

    The EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System: The Procedure

    Dr. Law carefully trims the hair around the baby’s ear. Trimming this hair away allows the base (aka cradle) to adhere to the skin that surrounds the ear. These cradles are available in various sizes. Dr. Huay-Zong Law selects and then customizes the base so that it fits the baby’s ear snugly.

    To create a missing natural fold, a soft bar behind the ear gently repositions and shapes the highly malleable cartilage. To attain the desired effect, Dr. Law uses special adhesive strips to customize the treatment. He may also use a gentle taping method to assist with the reshaping of the cartilage. Once Dr. Huay-Zong Law completes the application process, he places a lid over the ear to ensure the pieces remain secure. This lid is clear, which makes it easy to monitor the pieces, making sure that each strip remains in the correct position.

    Typically, treatment continues for three to four weeks. However, after the initial treatment time, to prevent relapse, patients continue treatment with just tape and a retractor for another two weeks.

    Are There Any Risks Associated with Ear-Molding Treatments?

    A negative reaction to the adhesive and the development of a small pressure sore are the most common side effects patients’ experience. Nonetheless, if these side effects occur, Dr. Law either pauses treatment, or discontinues the ear-molding treatment altogether.

    In the event that molding is unable to fully correct the deformity and the child requires an otoplasty once he or she turns 5 or 6 years old, the extent of the child’s ear surgery is typically less, and the results are better.

    Will Health Insurance Cover the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System?

    Most of the time, insurance does cover the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System.

    Ear Surgery in Dallas: The Procedure

    An otoplasty is an outpatient procedure, therefore, the patient returns home with his or her chauffeur after spending some time in the recovery area.

    Patients should wear comfortable clothing, including a top that does not need to be lifted above the head while removing it or putting it on. All jewelry and valuables should be left at home.

    Dr. Huay-Zong Law requests that his patients arrive with their chauffeur approximately 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. This additional time allows the patient to check in. During check in, patients have to provide a picture ID (e.g., a driver’s license).

    If a patient does not bring a chauffeur, he or she has to reschedule surgery.

    Pre-Op

    A friendly team member escorts the patient to the pre-op area. While the patient is here, a nurse takes and documents the patient’s vitals (e.g., blood pressure, temperature, heart rate). This is also where the patient changes into his or her surgical gown.

    To answer any last-minute questions, Dr. Law visits the patient while he or she is in pre-op.

    During Ear Surgery, Patients Receive Anesthesia

    Children having an otoplasty usually receive general anesthesia. General anesthesia places the patient into a deep sleep. Adults may receive general anesthesia as well; however, most adult patients receive twilight anesthesia (i.e., intravenous [IV] sedation with local anesthesia).

    What Is the Difference Between General and Twilight Anesthesia?

    Just like the patients who receive general anesthesia, those receiving twilight anesthesia will not remember their surgery. The benefit of intravenous sedation with local anesthesia over general anesthesia is that the patient is easier to awaken and feels much less groggy after surgery. Furthermore, after receiving general anesthesia, many patients experience nausea, this side effect is typically not experienced by those receiving twilight anesthesia.

    Law Plastic Surgery Creates Each Patient a Custom-tailored Surgical Plan

    Each patient receives a custom-designed surgical plan, therefore, the otoplasty technique that Dr. Huay-Zong Law uses depends on his or her particular needs.

    Potential Incision Locations

    Dr. Law may create an incision within the inner crease of the ear or on the backside of the ear. Despite incision location, Dr. Huay-Zong Law uses his skill and surgical experience to ensure the incision’s scar remains well hidden within the natural contours of the patient’s ear.

    Surgical Correction of Protruding Ears

    1. After Dr. Law creates the incisions, he strategically removes any excess soft tissue or cartilage that is causing the patient’s ear to protrude.
    2. Following cartilage removal, Dr. Huay-Zong Law removes any extra skin.
    3. If the patient’s ear is missing natural folds, Dr. Law can create these folds.
    4. To create missing ear folds, Dr. Law carefully reshapes the remaining cartilage. He may also use targeted scraping to reshape the cartilage.
    5. Dr. Huay-Zong Law secures the changes he makes with permanent internal stitches.
    6. He will then use removable or dissolvable stitches to close the incisions.
    7. Patients should expect their ear pinning procedure to take approximately two hours.

    Using Permanent Sutures to Correct Protruding Ears

    Sometimes, to correct protruding ears, all Dr. Law needs to do is strategically place a few permanent sutures to properly angle the patient’s ears, so they are closer to his or her head.

    Addressing Malformed Ears

    1. Dr. Huay-Zong Law hides the incisions he creates within the folds and contours of the outer ear.
    2. After Dr. Law creates the incision, he may remove excess cartilage and skin.
    3. If necessary, Dr. Huay-Zong Law uses his artistic vision and skill to reshape the remaining cartilage. Once Dr. Huay-Zong Law completes reshaping the ear, he uses permanent stitches to hold the changes in place.
    4. Dr. Law closes the incisions using dissolvable or removable sutures.

    Depending on the extent of the ear malformation, this ear surgery can take from one to three hours.

    Following a surgical procedure to address malformed or protruding ears, patients receive bandages. These bandages encircle the head because they need to hold the ears in place, offer support and protect the ears as they heal. The way Dr. Huay-Zong Law applies these bandages ensures that they remain above the patient’s eyes.

    What to Expect While Recovering from Ear Surgery in Dallas

    Patients wear their bandages until Dr. Law determines that they have healed enough to remove them.

    Dr. Huay-Zong Law will either provide the patient with prescription pain medication or make a recommendation regarding which over-the-counter pain medications are safe for the patient to take directly after an otoplasty in Dallas. If a patient’s discomfort increases after taking pain medication, he or she needs to contact Law Plastic Surgery at (972)331-1900.

    Directly Following Ear Surgery in Dallas

    After releasing the patient to his or her driver, the patient needs to pick up any prescriptions that Dr. Huay-Zong Law orders before returning home to rest.

    If the patient does receive antibiotics or pain medication, it is important that he or she follows the instructions for taking these products. If the patient disregards these instructions, he or she may experience unnecessary pain, or develop an infection.

    To increase the likelihood of an uneventful recovery, patients must follow all the aftercare instructions they receive.

    Patients need to keep their head elevated for several days, even as they sleep.

    Bathing and showering must be avoided until Dr. Huay-Zong Law releases the patient to resume these activities.

    Patients should expect to experience some discomfort after their otoplasty. As long as the patient follows his or her pain medication schedule, post-procedure pain should be minimal. Another sensation that patients feel during the healing process is itching. It is crucial that patients do not rub or scratch their ears.

    The First Week of Recovery

    Patients must rest as much as possible during their first few days of recovery.

    Patients must not put any type of pressure on their ears (e.g., resting the side of the head up against a wall, laying on one’s side).

    Dr. Law recommends that his patients wear button-up tops instead of the tops that have to be put on and pulled off over the head.

    At the follow-up appointment, Dr. Law evaluates how well the patient’s ears are healing. He also changes out the current bandages for lighter ones.

    The patient needs to keep taking his or her medication and antibiotic as directed.

    It is vital that the patient continues wearing the bandages until Dr. Law removes them, which usually occurs within a week of surgery. Once Dr. Law removes the bandages, he may recommend that the patient wear a headband while sleeping. This headband keeps the cartilage in the ears from folding as the patient rolls over in bed. The headband also prevents the patient from experiencing irritation in the surgical area.

    Most adult patients can return to school or work within two weeks of their ear surgery in Dallas. The length of time a child needs for recovery may be different from that of an adult.

    Patients can slowly begin to resume their normal activities, however, before restarting any exercise program, patients should speak with Dr. Huay-Zong Law.

    Week Two and Beyond

    If the patient has external stitches that require removal, Dr. Law removes them in his office at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas.

    As long as the patient follows the instructions from Dr. Law or his medical staff, the patient can carefully clean the surgical areas.

    The patient may receive a prescription for a topical ointment to apply to his or her incisions.

    Patients should continue wearing their headband until they speak with Dr. Law about removing it altogether.

    Inflammation may remain for quite some time following surgery (i.e., weeks or even months), however, as time passes, the inflammation and redness continue to subside. Nonetheless, most adult patients take about six weeks to fully heal.

    Skin sensation changes at and near the incisions are normal and typically subside with time.

    Otoplasty Results

    Directly following bandage removal, the changes Dr. Law made during surgery are evident. These changes are permanent.

    An Initial Consultation for Ear Pinning Surgery at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas

    The first step towards scheduling ear surgery to address malformed or pronounced ears is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Law at his office in Dallas. During this consultation, he will review the patient’s medical history, current medication, herbal supplement and vitamin use as well as ask about lifestyle choices (e.g., using products that contain nicotine, participating in recreational drug use). Please keep in mind that all the information a patient provides is confidential. It is extremely important that the patient answers these questions candidly because it helps to ensure that the medications the patient receives during and after surgery will not interact with other products he or she takes.

    After reviewing the patient’s information and answering any questions he or she has, Dr. Law examines the patient’s ears. During this examination, he evaluates the position and shape of the ears.

    Dr. Huay-Zong Law also determines if the ears are missing any natural folds. Following this examination, he will recommend the procedure that he believes will provide the patient with the results he or she desires.

    If the patient decides to move forward with ear surgery, Dr. Law may take photographs of the patient’s ears. He uses these photos while creating the patient’s custom-designed surgical plan. These photographs are also beneficial following surgery because Dr. Huay-Zong Law and the patient can use them for comparison purposes.

    Preparing for Ear Surgery in Dallas

    Adult patients need to take at least a week off school or work. Dr. Law discusses specifics related to surgery preparation and recovery with the parents or guardians of a child having an otoplasty.

    Adults must arrive with a driver on the day of their surgery. Patients must choose an individual that they trust implicitly. To ensure the safety of his patients, Dr. Huay-Zong Law does not permit the use of for-hire transportation following procedures that require general anesthesia or IV sedation with local anesthesia.

    Dr. Law may want the patient to have some pre-surgical testing.

    These tests may include:

    • Blood work.
    • An EKG.
    • A chest X-ray.

    All tests must be complete at least a week before surgery. At Law Plastic Surgery, safety always comes first, therefore, if Dr. Huay-Zong Law does not receive the patient’s test results in time for his or her scheduled otoplasty, the surgery is rescheduled.

    Certain Herbal Supplements, Medications and Vitamins Must Be Discontinued for at Least a Week Before Ear Surgery in Dallas

    Patients taking herbal supplements need to make sure that the products they take will not increase the likelihood of complications occurring during or after surgery.

    Some supplements to avoid include:

    • St. John’s Wort.
    • Kava Kava.
    • Ginkgo Biloba.

    Medications that patients must discontinue a week before surgery include:

    • Aspirin.
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    • Blood thinners (e.g., Coumadin).

    Any prescription medication that the patient must modify prior to surgery requires the approval of the prescribing physician or Dr. Law.

    If a patient has to take pain medication in the week leading up to ear surgery, he or she can take acetaminophen (aka Tylenol).

    Vitamins that patients need to discontinue at least a week before their otoplasty include vitamin E and Fish Oil.

    Nicotine

    Patients have to stop using products that contain nicotine for at least 14 days before and another 14 days after their ear surgery. These products include chewing tobacco, traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars as well as products containing nicotine that are designed to help an individual stop using these types of products. Not adhering to this requirement could result in post-surgical complications (e.g., skin necrosis, open wounds).

    Alcoholic Beverages

    To keep inflammation down, patients must refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages for at least two days before and two days after their otoplasty.

    Risks and Potential Complications of an Otoplasty

    As with all treatments and surgical procedures, there are risks to consider.

    Potential complications associated with an otoplasty include:

    • Infection.
    • Excess bleeding.
    • A reaction to the products and medications the surgeon uses during or after surgery, including the anesthesia.
    • Uneven ears.
    • Visible scarring.
    • Issues with the permanent stitches (e.g., they break through the skin).
    • Overcorrection, which can cause the contours of the ears to appear unnatural.
    • Undercorrection, which may require another surgery.
    • Inflammation resulting from permanent stitches breaking through the skin, requiring their removal. This complication can lead to the patient requiring another surgery.
    • Development of a hematoma.
    • Chondritis (i.e., cartilage inflammation).

    Choosing a highly experienced plastic surgeon is the best way to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a complication.

    How Much Does an Otoplasty Cost?

    Every patient receives a personalized surgical plan; therefore, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can only determine the cost of an otoplasty if the individual has an initial consultation.

    If you would like to change the shape or projection of your ears, Dr. Law can use his experience, artistic vision and skill to fulfill these desires. In addition, the parents or guardians of a child with malformed or protruding ears should contact Law Plastic Surgery at (972)331-1900 to schedule an ear surgery consultation for their child.

    If you have an infant with protruding or malformed ears that is younger than eight weeks, Dr. Law may be able to resolve these issues using the FDA-approved EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System. This is a nonsurgical procedure that Dr. Law may be able to perform even if the baby is still in the hospital. Furthermore, health insurance frequently covers the EarWell® Infant Ear Deformity Correction System. To learn more, please call (972)331-1900 today.

    Law Plastic Surgery’s address for the Dallas location is 7777 Forest Lane, C-528.

     

     

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