Medical technology has undoubtedly made tremendous developments that are aimed at enhancing the health experience of patients. Over the decades, there have been changes in the treatment and surgical methods that paved for efficient medical treatment and care.
Many revolutions have been made to improve the function and quality of treatment. One such major revolution in the surgical world is the introduction of plastic surgery which has made it easier to correct the disrupted parts of the body. It was after the invention of plastic surgery that people started to increase their self-esteem by enhancing their physical appearance.
Different types of plastic surgery are meant for different parts of the body. For instance, eye surgery is done to lift your sagging eyelids. In this article, we will be talking about ear surgery that is meant to correct the position and shape of the ear, along with treating some internal issues.
What is Ear Surgery?
Also known as otoplasty, ear surgery is done to treat the defects in your ear caused by birth or some accidents or injuries. Otoplasty helps in bringing the right shape of the ear without disrupting the internal processes. Not only significant issues but otoplasty can be used to treat minor problems in your ears.
Ear surgery also helps in treating deformities and helps in enhancing the physical appearance of your ear. A disfigured or protruding ear can hamper your self-esteem, and a reliable ear surgery is what you need to bring your confidence back.
It is essential first to diagnose your issue and find the problem in your ear. There are many complications related to your ear that need to be appropriately diagnosed before suggesting the treatment method.
Endoscopic and microscopic diagnosis is the most commonly used diagnosis method that is used to treat the ear. Make sure to consult an ENT doctor who will advise you regarding your issue and suggest the right treatment method.
Who Is Eligible For An Otoplasty?
Before opting for ear surgery, there are plenty of things you need to consider. First, you need to ensure your medical eligibility to appear for the operation. According to health experts and ENT specialists, not everyone can undergo otoplasty.
Here is detailed information regarding who makes a good candidate for ear surgery:
Children Who Are:
- Healthy and does not have any chronic or life-threatening diseases or ear infections.
- Five years or above or their ear cartilage is stable to conduct surgery.
- Supportive and stringently follow the instructions given to them before and after the surgery.
- Capable of communicating their situation and do not object during the operation.
- Mentally sound to make a decision.
Teenagers and Adults Who Are:
- Healthy and does not have any chronic or life-threatening diseases or ear infections that can make otoplasty a cause of hearing impairment.
- Positive towards their situation and have specific goals regarding their otoplasty.
- Not addicted to alcohol and smoking; can severely hamper your condition during the surgery. If you are a regular smoker, it is advised to lessen the frequency or stop it entirely for some time before and after the surgery.
What Happens During The Consultation?
You need to find a reliable ENT specialist who can listen to your concerns and give specific treatment suggestions. The doctor will conduct a detailed examination that will include understanding your medical history and ascertaining whether you have any chronic illness or have undergone any surgeries in the past.
After verifying that you are the right fit for the surgery, your doctor will explain to you the entire surgical process and how it can benefit your concern. They will layout a plan with a pre-determined goal of treating your ears.
How is Otoplasty Performed?
There are several surgical techniques used in otoplasty that depend on your issue. A small incision is made before the otoplasty at the back of your ears, in the groove. If incisions are required at the front of the ear, your surgeon will make an incision on the ear folds.
Now, the surgeon will use the necessary surgical technique to correct the particular issue. After this, non-dissolvable sutures close the incision. There will be a bulky dressing done that takes three days to get better.
What Will Be The Recovery Period?
You might feel discomfort right after the surgery; no need to worry, it is completely normal. Generally, it takes a week or a maximum of two weeks to recover from an otoplasty. Children can resume their school within a week, and adults can get back to work within a few days. It is essential to wear the dressing for at least three months after the surgery.
Keep changing it at regular intervals to prevent infections. It is advised not to perform any physically strenuous activity in the first week of the surgery; it can result in pressuring your ear eventually worsening the issue.
Types of Otoplasty You Need To Know About
Now the most crucial part of otoplasty is to understand its types. You cannot just perform any ear surgery without knowing the reason behind it. There are specific otoplasties for different ear-related issues. After a thorough examination conducted by an ENT physician, you will get to know what type of otoplasty you will need, or if you will need it at all.
Here are the common types of ear surgeries you need to be aware of:
Acoustic Neuromas or Schwannomas
A brain tumor can be caused by plenty of reasons, and one-sided hearing impairment is the initial sign of that. Acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor in your brain that develops at the eighth cranial nerve. The tiny tumor decompresses the nerve and causes hearing loss. With the help of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), an acoustic tumor can be detected and monitored.
Acoustic tumor surgery is a part of otoplasty to remove the tumor through the ear bones. Radiation treatment with a gamma knife is the currently trending surgical method used in this surgery.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aid
The sound signals from your eardrums have to be transferred to your brain; only then you can receive the right message. Many hearing impairments affect this function. That’s when you need a bone-anchored hearing aid. Initially, a post is implanted in the skull, similar to a dentist implant during teeth replacement.
After a period of healing, a hearing aid is attached to the post, which will work the patient to transmit and receive the signals. A bone-anchored hearing aid is recommended for patients who are suffering from chronic middle ear disease and have a hearing impairment. This type of surgery is also used to treat one-sided deafness.
Ear Tubes (Myringotomy)
Indeed, acute ear infections are disturbing and block your hearing. It is developed due to fluid accumulation in the ear, and it is generally found in children. In severe cases of acute ear infections, your ENT doctor will suggest you myringotomy.
In this ear surgery, a small hole is created in your eardrum, and the fluid is vacuumed out of the ear with a tiny tube. The tube creates atmospheric air pressure and drains the infected fluid from the eardrum. The entire tubing process is known as tympanostomy. These tubes are made from different materials and come in different shapes and sizes.
Mastoidectomy for Cholesteatoma
Chronic infections can also affect your middle ears even after antibiotics and myringotomy, that’s when you need to think about mastoidectomy. It is a less invasive surgery that can be done with local anesthesia.
Your surgeon will make a small incision behind your ear and use a microscope to see the fine structures inside your ears. The bone structures that are blocking your airway will be drilled away. These bone structures have air pockets, but often it leads to infection that can be detrimental. It is either drilled or destroyed with a skin cyst called cholesteatoma.
In case your ear shape is disturbed with the surgery, it can be corrected or refigured with prostheses. Sometimes, mastoidectomy can also restore the hearing aid in people who have lost their hearing due to chronic infections.
Microtia and Atresia Repairs
It is s genital deformity where a child is born with ear cartilage but no ear canal. Microtia and atresia are referred to as the congenital deformity of the ear. It takes around eight years to reconstruct the ear canal. Only when the child reaches the age of 8 years or when his/her rib cartilage is well developed, and the head has grown to a considerable size.
Cosmetic surgery is performed before restoring the ear canal. Generally, these kids are born with hearing impairment, and after the surgery, a majority of them can restore their hearing depending on the severity of the issue. You must consult your ENT doctor regarding your particular problem.
Otoplasty for Prominent Ears
Ear deformities can occur in different conditions and affect people differently. Some are born with protruding ears, while others get traumatic deformities caused by trauma or injury.
Either way, it is essential to correct those deformities that can often hamper your self-esteem. If you have been suffering from any ear deformity, you need to consult your ENT doctor about this and get yourself diagnosed.
Otoplasty for prominent ears has nothing to do with your hearing, it just enhances your appearance corrects the deformity, and boosts your confidence. These deformities can be corrected with the help of otoplasty for prominent ears.
Stapedectomy For Otosclerosis
Stapedectomy is a surgical process done for conductive hearing loss due to otosclerosis. The stapes are attached to the cochlea, the spiral capsule holding your inner ear membrane. Using local anesthesia, the surgeon will move the eardrum and remove the damaged stapes with a laser.
A small opening is created in the cochlea with a footplate and piston. After the surgery, the eardrums are replaced. The probability of restoring hearing is quite high; that’s why stapedectomy is considered the ideal surgical treatment for otosclerosis.
There might be some consequences after the surgery that you need to be aware of. Consult your ENT doctor before opting for the operation and get to know all the details regarding the surgery.
Tympanoplasty for Perforated Eardrum
A perforated eardrum is a rupture in the eardrum, a thin line that divides the middle ear and the canal. It is also called the tympanic membrane, hence the name tympanoplasty. The perforated eardrum will lead to decreased hearing, and it needs to be addressed.
Tympanoplasty can help in correcting the issue if the perforation is small and can be covered. With the help of a microscope, the surgeon will touch the eardrum’s edge to check the perforation level. I think the paper patch is attached to the eardrum to cover the tympanic membrane.
The layers have to be increased for complete protection. If a paper patch cannot cover the tympanic, then a tympanoplasty is required that uses skin grafting techniques to cover the membrane and heal the area.
The Bottom Line
The medical transformations have paved the way for plenty of developments that are aimed at improving treatment methods. Plastic surgery is an efficient surgical process that helps in treating deformities of different body parts. Each body part has its distinctive surgery; for ear-related issues, you need to undergo otoplasty.
Ear surgery is simply used to improve the shape and position of the ears. Some people are born with protruding and deformed ears that can severely hamper their self-esteem. With otoplasty, you can get perfectly shaped ears without any trouble. The primary goal of otoplasty is to give your ears the natural shape that they need, taking away the unintentional attention they seek.
There are many ear-related ailments as well that can be treated with the help of this surgery. For this, you need to learn more about the types of ear surgery. Each type has been designed for a specific purpose. You need first to diagnose your issue and then get the right treatment.
The above mentioned were some of the vital information regarding otoplasty and the types of surgeries that are involved in it.