Autoplasty is generally performed with the aim of making the flap ears closer to the head, shaping the lacking curves and make the big ears smaller. This operation is generally performed on children between four-fourteen years old.
Ears are accepted to be fully developed at the age of four and the earlier the operation is performed the less will be the problems that the child will experience in the outer world. This operation can also be applied on adults and there are no additional risks.
Of course you may not find the answers to all your questions here. Actually many things depend on personal situations. If there are question marks in your head as to this procedure please consult your doctor.
Many surgeons advise the parents to be sensitive about the flap ear problems of the children; do not insist on surgery until he/she wants a change on his own. The children who are unhappy with their ears and want surgery are more compatible during the operation.
In the first examination your operator will evaluate the case f the patient and advise the most effective method. Moreover, the surgeon will also explain what should be done to prepare for the surgical procedure.
Where will the surgical operation performed?
Autoplasty is generally performed as outpatient care (outpatient treatment); sometimes your doctor may suggest the operation be performed in the hospital, in such a case you may stay in the hospital overnight.
If your child is small the doctor may suggest general anesthesia, therefore your child will be in a deep sleep. For older children and adults your doctor may prefer local anesthesia by combining it with a sedative. In this case your child will be awake but relaxed.
Post Operational Period
Adults and children can stand up and walk around and return home a few hours after the operation. The head of the patient will be wrapped in order to facilitate the shaping and recovery after the operation. Ears may ache for a few days but this can be healed with painkillers.
After seven days this wrap will be removed and the head will be covered with a light dressing. After the removal of these dressings your doctor will advise you to use head band at night. The use of this band in the morning will help the conservation of the shape of the ears. The sutures are generally removed within a week or self soluble sutures may be used.
Any activities that will make the ear curved should be avoided for one and a half months. Most of the adults can return back to their work within ten days. The children can go to school within about 7 days but they should be cautious about activities. You can ask for help from the teacher of your child in order to take care of your children during a few weeks.
All surgical procedures have some ambiguities and risk
If performed by an expert and qualified surgeon complications are very rare and small in autoplasty. However, all surgical procedures have some risks and specific complications.
In a small percentage of the patients blood clot may develop. This clot can be eradicated automatically or can be removed by a needle. Seldom may an infection develop in the ear cartilage that leads to scar tissue development. These infections are treated with antibiotics; seldom may it be necessary to evacuate the infected region by surgical procedure.
Other Ear Shape Deformities
Other than flap ear, there are other ear problems. Among these are “lop ear”: if the upper part of the ear is curved down; “Cup ear”: very small ear and "Shell Ear": the ear whose outer curvature, natural curve and lines are lost. Also it is possible to perform operations on big ear lobs.
In addition new ear production is possible for the ones who lost their ear as the result of an accident. It must be noted that a scar worse than the original problem may occur after the operation. Consult your doctor about the efficiency of the surgery on your problem.
More natural looking ears
Many patients may not be satisfied with the results of the young or adult ear cosmetic procedures. However, a point should be born in mind that aim is not to achieve the perfection but to achieve better. Do not expect two ears to be just the same; actual symmetry is both impossible and unnatural.
If you discuss the procedure and your expectations with your doctor before the operation, your chance of satisfaction from the results increases.