If you are self-conscious about the position, size, or shape of your ears, you may benefit from otoplasty performed at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL. However, the decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, we would like to provide you with some of the most important information you need to make an informed decision, including how long the results last and how long the procedure takes.
Is Otoplasty Permanent?
Yes, otoplasty results are considered permanent. In rare cases, a minor revision is required years after the treatment is complete. This is because your skin starts to lose collagen as you age. Collagen, the most abundant protein in your body, is required for numerous tasks, including cellular turnover and skin tightening.
If you lose too much collagen in your earlobes, you may see sagging that you want to correct. Also, it is possible for cartilage to sag after decades of exposure to the constant force of gravity. However, there is a chance that this sagging will be imperceptible, and it is rarely a problem for people in their 40s and 50s.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Typically, cosmetic ear reshaping takes approximately two hours to complete. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, how long otoplasty takes depends on the extent of the correction you’re looking for. Your procedure may take closer to three hours if you have severe concerns about the placement, shape, or size of your ears.
How Should I Prepare for My Procedure?
Although the Otoplasty procedure itself does not take long, there are several weeks of preparation required in advance of your cosmetic ear reshaping. The first thing you must do to prepare for this procedure is to abstain from drinking alcohol and consuming tobacco products. Both alcohol and tobacco products must be eschewed for no fewer than 14 days pre-op because they increase blood vessel stress drastically.
How Should I Prepare for the Recovery Process?
There are several things you can do before your procedure to make sure your recovery process is as smooth as possible. First, you should make sure that you are hydrated and have plenty of bottles of water on hand to drink throughout the recovery process. Second, you should clean your home. You must avoid stooping over for several days post-op, so clean your baseboards and sweep or vacuum your home while you still can.
Third, it is strongly recommended to make at least nine meals before your procedure and refrigerate or freeze them. It is perfectly normal to feel exhausted after cosmetic ear reshaping, but you shouldn’t turn to unhealthy fast food meals because you are too tired to cook. When deciding what meals to make ahead, consider that your recovery will go much smoother if you are well-nourished.
How Long Will My Recovery Take?
You can generally expect your recovery to take around six weeks to complete. During a significant portion of your recovery, you will need to adjust your usual routine. For example, you will need to commit upwards of nine hours per day to sleep until your recovery is complete. Also, it is imperative that you keep your head elevated as much as possible during the first 21 days of your recovery. Make sure you sleep with two pillows elevating your head.
Also, you must refrain from using shampoo to wash your hair for the first seven days post-op. This is because some hair care products contain chemicals that can irritate your incisions. Furthermore, keep in mind that you cannot shower during the first 24 hours post-op. When you shower, make sure that you don’t rub the backs of your ears. Also, dry off gently. Here are some other things you can expect during your recovery period.
A Smoking Ban
It is imperative that you stop smoking during the 14 days preceding your ear pinning. However, don’t expect to be able to light up to relax or celebrate after your surgery is over. You need to continue to not smoke until your incisions are healed because nicotine consumption impedes circulation and oxygenation significantly.
Strong circulation is important because your blood carries nutrients and growth factors to the incisions, not just oxygen and water. Notably, alcohol is banned for the same reason.
A New Wardrobe
While you may usually wear t-shirts or blouses, you should strongly consider your wardrobe during the first couple of weeks of your recovery. It may behoove you to wear clothes that are easy to put on and take off for a little while, like button-down shirts or dresses that you can step into easily. Also, make sure you have zippered hoodies to wear if you get chilly and don’t want to pull a sweatshirt down over your ears.
Keep in mind, you will have to wear a headband on top of your surgical dressings exactly as directed. You may not take them off because you don’t feel like wearing them, and you must keep them from getting wet, hot, or dirty. These will help you recover safely, quickly, and comfortably.
A New Diet
You also may need to make some changes to your diet in the weeks following your procedure. For example, you may need to cut back on your sodium consumption. For most healthy adults, sodium intake should be limited to two grams per day. If you consume so much sodium that your blood pressure increases and you experience water retention, get more potassium in your diet or drink more water.
Also, you may find you need to consume a little more magnesium than you usually do. Magnesium will help you sleep and help to keep you comfortable during your recovery. Something else you should be aware of is that your caffeine consumption will also be limited during your recovery to keep your blood pressure normal. You may not consume over 400 mg of caffeine from all sources, including analgesics, beverages, and foods.
What Do You Look for in a Good Candidate?
There are many things we look for when determining who is an ideal candidate. Among these is an individual who wishes to enhance his or her aesthetic by improving the size, shape, or position of his or her ears. We also look for emotionally healthy people who are seeking this procedure for their own benefit, not anyone else’s. Also, to qualify for cosmetic ear reshaping, it is important that you have realistic views of the process, including the results.
What Makes a Poor Otoplasty Candidate?
While you certainly don’t have to be as healthy as you were in your early 20s, we do look for a certain level of health. We may consider you to be a poor candidate for this procedure if you have diseases or other disorders of the heart and lungs. We look for heart and lung health because this procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia. If you need general anesthesia, for the optimal outcome, your heart and lungs should be healthy.
You may also be considered a poor fit for this procedure if you suffer from other medical conditions, like a viral infection or bacterial infection. If you are ill within 14 days of your scheduled cosmetic ear reshaping, you will need to reschedule your procedure. Your body requires a great deal of energy to fuel its immune system and a lot of energy to recover from cosmetic surgery.
How Young Is Too Young to Get Cosmetic Ear Reshaping?
Cosmetic ear reshaping is not appropriate for children whose ears have not yet finished developing. As a general rule, ears are approximately 85% finished developing when a child is four years of age. Therefore, it is not unheard of for children to be between the ages of five and seven when they get their ears reshaped. If you’re 18 and worried about being too young for cosmetic surgery, don’t fret. This procedure is common, safe, and effective.
Learn More About Cosmetic Ear Reshaping Today
Otoplasty results are considered permanent, but a tiny revision may be necessary in the future due to skin and cartilage sagging. The procedure usually takes around an hour per ear, but it can take closer to three hours total in cases of extreme correction. If you think this procedure could help you improve your quality of life, contact us today at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL to schedule your initial ear reshaping consultation.