Ear Surgery Preoperative Considerations
A consultation with a one of our board certified plastic surgeons is the first step an individual should take if considering otoplasty. The patient or, in the case of a child, the patient’s family, should discuss candidly expectations about looking and feeling better after surgery, while keeping in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
The surgeon will discuss the variables that influence the decisions involved in otoplasty. The procedure can be performed on a patient after the age of five or six when ear growth is almost complete. When disfigurement is severe, it is recommended that a child be operated on early to avoid possible emotional stress when he or she enters school.
After examining you, the surgeon will explain specific details of your case, including the surgical technique to be used, the anesthesia, where the operation will be performed and what the surgery realistically can accomplish. Other factors to consider before otoplasty, such as risk and cost, should be discussed with the surgeon at this time.
Thousands of otoplasties are performed successfully each year. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the potential risks of surgery and specific complications associated with this operation. Postoperative complications such as infection and blood clots are uncommon. Occasionally a set back ear may protrude again, necessitating a second operation. Risk of complications can be minimized by closely adhering to your surgeon’s advice on follow-up care.
Since otoplasty generally is carried out on an elective basis, most insurance plans normally do not offer coverage. If surgery is deemed necessary to correct disfigurement due to improper development, the surgeon’s fees and other costs may be partially or fully paid by your insurance carrier. In many cases, you may deduct the costs as a medical expense on your income tax return.