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Ask the Surgeon
I have been very unhappy with the appearance of my ears all of my life. I have heard of children getting their ears pinned back, but is there a procedure for adults?
Otoplasty, surgery of the ears, can be performed on children and adults. You often hear of children having otoplasty because of the emotional benefits—less teasing, more confidence—of having the surgery performed at a younger age. Although adult ear cartilage is somewhat less flexible than that of a child, excellent results may be achieved at any age.
The procedure is done with general anesthesia. Incisions are hidden in the natural creases behind the ears. The surgeon removes the necessary amounts of cartilage and skin required to achieve the right effect. In some cases, the surgeon will trim the cartilage, and pin the cartilage back with permanent sutures to secure it. In other cases, the surgeon will not remove any cartilage, but use stitches to hold the cartilage permanently in place. See your facial plastic surgeon for the optimal plan for you. Most people can resume their normal activities about a week after surgery.
Studies have shown that patients who are educated regarding their procedure or treatment benefit with increased level of comfort, improved result satisfaction, increased compliance with doctor’s instructions, and increase staff satisfaction. This is an all-around win-win situation for the patient and the facial plastic surgery practice.
Get educated. Before having a procedure, schedule a consultation and find out as much as possible about the surgery. Inquire about the steps of the procedure, pre and post-operative preparation, and patient safety. Get to know your surgeon so you feel comfortable. Ask your surgeon to see before and after photographs as well. Becoming educated will give you a sense of empowerment regarding your course of treatment, which will promote successful outcome, rapid recovery, and better health.
The first face transplant was performed successfully November 27, 2005 in France by a team of highly skilled surgeons. The 38 year-old patient, Isabelle Dinoire, had suffered a severe dog bite that had amputated her nose, lips, chin, and parts of her cheeks.
This procedure is an extension of microsurgery that has been performed for decades. Patients receiving tissue from a non-identical donor must take immunosuppressive medication for life to minimize the risk of rejection. The donor’s face was harvested to match exactly the size and contour of the recipient’s full thickness soft tissue defect including skin, fat, mimic muscles, nasal cartilages, and oral and nasal mucosa.
As of this writing, the patient is benefiting from full feeling throughout her face and increase movement of her lips. This procedure is ground-breaking and brings hope to those with extreme disfigurement.