Brow Lift & Ear Surgery

Brow Lift & Ear Surgery 2018-04-16T12:25:21+00:00
Brow Lift

Brow Lift

Brow Lift, also known as forehead lift or browplasty.  Click here for information on Cosmetic Surgery of the Ear.

Brow Lift

A brow lift or forehead lift reverses the effects of gravity and tightens the soft tissues of the forehead to restore a more youthful contour to your forehead skin, upper eyelids and eyebrows. There are various brow-lift methods, which involve different length incisions in different locations and, sometimes, an endoscope. A youthful brow at rest is positioned above the orbital rim, with a gradual arch laterally, and the lateral end or ‘tail’ of the brow located higher than the medial end. As one ages, it is common for the brow to assume a flat or horizontal position. If a sagging brow inhibits your facial expression, a brow lift is a time-tested method for rejuvenating the upper third of your face. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful brow-lift surgery and are pleased with the results.

When to Consider a Brow Lift

Brow Lift

  • Sagging or low eyebrow position creates a tired, sad or grumpy appearance
  • You have deep horizontal creases across the forehead
  • You have frown lines or furrows between the eyebrows or across the top of your nose
  • You have excess skin or fatty tissue hanging over your eyes

Considerations for a Brow Lift

Pros

  • Repositions a low or sagging brow that hangs over the upper eyelid
  • Raises the eyebrows to a more alert and youthful position
  • Makes you look happier, friendlier and more approachable

Cons

  • Only a highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon can determine if this procedure will achieve your goals.
  • Choice of brow-lift technique is very important to outcome, so this procedure is very clinician dependent.
  • You may also need blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), as a forehead lift does not improve baggy eyelids or crow’s feet.

These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering a brow lift. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.

Are you a good candidate for a brow lift?

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider a brow lift:

  • The outside of your brow sags, resulting in a sad expression.
  • The central portion of your brow hangs down, making you look angry
  • You have frown lines between your eyes.
  • If you are a female and you are unable to apply makeup on the upper eyelid, because the surface area has been obscured by drooping tissues as you have aged.
  • If you gently lift the skin above your eyebrow into a pleasing position and it eliminates most of the excess skin in your upper eyelid, a brow lift may be right for you.

Rely on an evaluation from a board-certified plastic surgeon to find out if you would benefit from a brow lift, blepharoplasty, or both procedures. If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for brow lift and eyelid surgery procedures.

Brow Lift Forehead Lift

Brow lift raises drooping upper eyelids, eyebrows and smooths forehead creases and frown lines

Brow Lift Forehead Lift

After surgery, your eyebrows will be elevated and forehead will be smooth, resulting in a refreshed appearance

Detailed Procedural Info Brow Lift

How is a brow lift procedure performed?

Brow-lift procedures have evolved from open techniques to more complex short incision and endoscopic techniques. A brow lift usually involves incisions in the hair-bearing scalp, but sometimes incisions are made in the forehead and/or the upper eyelids.

  • Open brow lift. Your surgeon makes a long incision across the forehead, either around the hairline or in one of the creases of the forehead, and lifts the skin away from the underlying tissues. The surgeon then loosens muscles and removes fat. He or she removes any excess skin, pulls the remaining skin down, and stitches the brow into its new position. Other names sometimes used to describe open brow lift include classic, coronal or trichophytic brow lift.
  • Endoscopic brow lift. Your surgeon will insert an endoscope (a long, thin tube with a light at the end attached to a video camera) through several tiny incisions in the scalp. This allows your surgeon to see and work on the various internal structures of the forehead. The endoscopic technique requires very minimal incisions, but it may not be equally beneficial for all patients.
  • Limited incision brow lift technique. This hybrid technique of both procedures is non-endoscopic with limited incisions. It uses a small portion of the ends of the coronal technique incision to elevate the outside part of the eyebrows under direct vision without an endoscope. The resulting scars are hidden in the temporal hairline, even in balding men who have little temporal hair remaining. While this procedure does not address the center area of the brow, it can reduce wrinkles at the corners of the eyes, commonly referred to as ‘crow’s feet.’ Since many forehead-lift procedures are performed with an upper blepharoplasty, the upper eyelid incisions are used to complete the forehead-lift procedure by treating the ‘frown’ lines between the eyebrows and raising the inside part of the eyebrows.

The type of brow lift you undergo will be based on your facial features and aesthetic preferences. The goal of your aesthetic plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

What are my options for a brow lift?

Excess eyelid skin, droopy upper eyelids, and droopy eyebrows commonly occur in the same patient. It is not possible to achieve a good aesthetic and functional result unless all three problems are addressed. Your plastic surgeon will assess your problem, considering your hairline and hair style preferences, and make a recommendation that will yield the least scarring and the best cosmetic results.  Here are some general guidelines:

  • If you have mild to moderate brow droop and horizontal wrinkles, an endoscopic lift may be a good choice.
  • If you have advanced brow droop with deep wrinkles, a coronal forehead lift may be most appropriate.
  • If you have a high forehead, to avoid raising your hairline further, you may undergo a subcutaneous lift. In this procedure, your incision is near the hairline, leaving visible scars that can be hidden with hair.

What will my brow lift incisions and scars be like?

The brow-lift incisions will be based on the technique your surgeon uses and will result in scars. The incisions are generally placed so they will be well concealed, frequently within or at the hairline, or within a deep forehead crease.

Open (coronal) technique. The incision is across the top of the scalp, beginning above the ears and hidden within the hair.

Endoscopic forehead lift. Your incisions may include three short incisions along the top of the scalp and a temple incision on each side. These incisions will be totally hidden within the hair.

Limited incision technique. The incisions will be hidden in the temporal hairline (temples). If your forehead lift is done in conjunction with an upper blepharoplasty, upper eyelid incisions will be used to complete the forehead lift by treating ‘frown’ lines between the eyebrows and raising the inside part of the eyebrows.

Brow Lift

The endoscopic brow lift uses several small incisions within the hairline. Incisions and placement vary

Brow Lift

Once incisions are made, the eyebrows are raised and re-positioned along with the underlying muscle (as needed)

Brow Lift

Temporal Brow Lift

Brow Lift

 A less invasive more limited incision temporal brow lift has become a more popular option.

Selecting a Surgeon for your Brow Lift and/or Eyelid Surgery

Select a surgeon you can trust

It’s important to choose your surgeon based on:

  • Education, training, and certification
  • Experience with brow lifts
  • Your comfort level with him or her

Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are experienced and qualified to perform your aesthetic procedure. Learn how to select a surgeon.

After finding a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who is experienced in performing brow lifts, you will need to make an office appointment to set up your consultation. Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation, there is a cost associated with the initial visit.

Your initial consultation appointment for Eyelid and/or Brow Lift Surgery

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss what you want to achieve. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for brow lift and clarify what a brow lift can do for you. Once the surgeon understands your goals he or she may suggest additional or related procedures. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation. Also, bring pictures of yourself at an earlier age; they may serve as a good point of reference for discussing your goals. It’s a good idea to be fully prepared to answer these questions:

  • Do you have any medical conditions or drug allergies? Are you being treated for any medical conditions?
  • Have you had any previous surgeries including eyelid and/or brow lift surgery?
  • What are your current medications and vitamin and herbal supplements?
  • What is your current use of alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs?
  • What is your history with any noninvasive cosmetic procedures?
  • What outcome do you expect from the surgery? What is your chief motivation in undergoing brow-lift surgery?

Your surgeon may also:

  • Ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved.
  • Take photos for your medical record, measure your face, and use computer imaging to show you the improvements you can expect
  • Evaluate your health status, including pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Evaluate the elasticity of your skin
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes, including risks or potential complications
  • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used

Your treatment plan Brow Lift and/or Eyelid Surgery

Based on your goals and physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s years of training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, including:

  • An approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures
  • The outcomes that you can anticipate
  • Your financial investment for the procedures
  • Associated risks and complications
  • Options for anesthesia and surgery location
  • What is needed to prepare for the surgery
  • What you can expect to experience after surgery
  • Share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours and answer any questions.

Questions to ask your aesthetic plastic surgeon regarding a Brow Lift

We developed these questions to help you:

  • Make the most informed and intelligent decisions about your procedure
  • Confirm that you have the right surgeon for your procedure
  • Make your initial consultation as rewarding as possible
  • Understand your options, potential outcomes, and risks

It is important for you to take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation.

  • Am I a good candidate for a brow lift?
  • Are the results I am seeking reasonable and realistic?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure?
  • Will my scars be visible?
  • What kind of anesthesia do you recommend for me?
  • What will be the costs associated with my brow lift?
  • What will you expect of me to get the best results?
  • What kind of recovery period can I expect, and when can I resume normal activities?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • What are my options if the cosmetic outcome of my brow lift does not meet the goals we agreed on?

Preparing for Your Procedure Brow Lift

How do I prepare for a brow lift procedure?

Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery. Here are some of the preoperative instructions you can expect:

  • If you smoke, your surgeon will ask you to stop at least six weeks before your surgery. Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications and slows the healing process.
  • You may have to limit alcohol consumption and avoid certain medications.
  • If you regularly take aspirin or another anti-inflammatory drug, your surgeon will ask you to stop taking these for a period before surgery. These drugs can cause increased bleeding.
  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
  • If your hair is short, you may want to grow it out to cover any scars.
  • Make arrangements to be driven to and from surgery on the day of your procedure.
  • You should have someone to take care of you on your first night home and, if possible, the first two days following surgery.
  • Fill all prescriptions before surgery.
  • Set up your recovery area ahead of time. You should have easy access to fluids, prepared meals, pillows to elevate your head, and reading materials and entertainment.
  • Prepare ice packs. Frozen vegetables work well to reduce postoperative swelling.

What can I expect on the day of brow lift surgery?

A brow lift may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgical center, or a hospital, and can take one to three hours to complete.

  • Medications will be administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
  • Local anesthesia combined with sedation is commonly used during brow-lift surgery, though general anesthesia can be used instead.
  • For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
  • An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will be present to administer sedatives (or general anesthetic) and assist in monitoring.
  • Your plastic surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before your operation. Once surgery has begun, the surgeon may decide to combine various techniques or change a technique to ensure the best result. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust your doctor to make these decisions.
  • Sections of hair will be held away from the surgery area.
  • After removing excess tissue, skin, and muscle, your surgeon will close the incision with stitches or staples. Your hair and face will be washed so the scalp skin does not get irritated.
  • The treated area will be wrapped with a sterile padding and an elastic bandage to prevent bleeding and swelling (edema). You will have sutures and a dressing on your forehead for the first few days after surgery. After surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.

You can control temporary discomfort in the surgical site with medication. You may choose to go home on the day of surgery or spend the night with an office consultant or nurse, unless you and your plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. Under no circumstance will you be permitted to go home alone.

Aftercare and Recovery Brow Lift and/or Eyelid Surgery

Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your post-surgical care, including information about:

  • Incision care
  • Normal symptoms you will experience
  • Any potential signs of complications

It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon, and that you realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

Immediately after your brow lift

  • Your surgeon may suggest icing or cold packs around the eyes for forty-eight hours to reduce the swelling.
  • It is best to sleep with your back and head elevated for approximately five to seven days.
  • Your surgeon will likely ask you to come back to his office a day or two after surgery so he or she can evaluate your healing.
  • Pain is typically not a significant problem in brow lifts. There is, however, some discomfort and tightness from ear to ear across the top of the head and brow. Most patients describe their forehead as feeling tight and somewhat numb the night of surgery. You will be provided with pain medications should you need them.
  • Drains are usually not needed in the brow area when doing a brow lift.
  • Temporary bruising, swelling, and numbness are common the first night after surgery. Maximum swelling occurs forty-eight to seventy-two hours post-surgery and begins to subside on the fourth or fifth postoperative day.
  • You may need to go to the bathroom frequently because of the intravenous fluids you were given during your surgery. Drink plenty of fluids to keep up with the fluid loss. As your body begins to balance itself, it will rid itself of this extra ‘water weight’ and return to normal.
  • Bruising from a brow lift appears less in the brow than in neighboring areas. As a result, any bleeding usually collects below the eyelids and bruises the lower lids, even if the lower lids are not operated on. Bruising usually peaks on the third to fifth day and resolves over two to three weeks.
  • Showering and bathing are permitted the next day after surgery. Use hair conditioner to help wash and clean hair that became matted or knotted during surgery. Be cautious when applying hot water, hair dryers, and combs; your scalp will be numb, so they may damage your skin and/or hair.

Recovery time frame following a brow lift

  • Your sutures or staples will be removed approximately one week after surgery.
  • During the first week of recovery, you should move and be mildly active, including going for walks to aid circulation in your lower extremities. However, do not attempt heavy lifting or strenuous activity.
  • You can resume driving when you are able to drive as well as you did before surgery. You need to be able to brake, respond, and turn quickly. When these conditions are met, you may resume driving, typically in the second or third week after surgery.
  • You may be able to return to work within a week and to full activity within a few weeks, but you must avoid heavy lifting or straining during this time.
  • Sensation in your scalp may be temporarily reduced. The feeling will begin to return over the first few weeks after surgery and your scalp will begin to feel ‘itchy’ as the nerves reawaken. Total numbness behind the incision in an open brow lift will usually persist for nine to twelve months post-surgery, sometimes longer in rare instances.

One month following brow lift surgery

  • You should have returned to your normal rhythm at work by this time, depending on the amount of physical exertion required to perform your duties.
  • Begin exercise and workout routines. Avoid any activity that causes discomfort and/or pain until you are further along in your recovery process. When you return to the activity, start at half speed and increase to your normal routine as long as you do not feel any pain during and/or the day after your workout.

How Long Will the Results Last?

Brow Lift Forehead Lift Cosmetic Surgery

Bilateral Brow Lift and Upper/Lower Eyelid Surgery

Brow Lift

Bilateral Brow Lift and Upper/Lower Eyelid Surgery

Brow Lift Forhead Lift Cosmetic Surgery

Bilateral Brow Lift and Upper/Lower Eyelid Surgery

Usually, you can expect the final result from surgery to be evident after six months. By then, the scalp and hairline incisions will have healed completely and you should be enjoying your more youthful appearance. Gravity will take its toll as aging continues, but portions of the brow lift, especially wrinkle lines in the brow and the frown line area, should never be as severe again and may return only mildly over the years. Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help to maintain and extend the results of your more youthful appearance.

Maintain a relationship with your aesthetic plastic surgeon
For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it is important to return to your plastic surgeon’s office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you have any questions about your brow-lift healing and results.

Associated Costs Brow Lift

The cost of a brow lift varies from surgeon to surgeon, from one geographic area to another, and with the technique that is performed.

Because a brow lift is elective surgery, insurance does not cover these costs. Many surgeons offer patient financing plans to make the procedure more affordable.   The practice of Michael P. Vincent MD FACS and Brent C. Faulkner MD participates with CareCredit.  Click on the Logo for more information.

Cosmetic Surgery FinancingChoose your surgeon based on quality, training, and experience—not cost.

See why ASAPS members are widely recognized for upholding the highest standards in the area of aesthetic plastic surgery by viewing their basic credentials, training, and certifications.

Limitations and Risks Brow Lift

Fortunately, significant complications from brow lift surgery are infrequent. This surgery is usually performed without any major problems.

Risks and potential complications of brow lift surgery is should be discussed during your consultation. The risks in most surgeries are similar. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your brow-lift surgery.

Photos and illustrations are examples and are meant to be helpful, informative, and educational.  No implicit guarantees regarding similar results can be given.  Additional information and the above text can be found on Dr. Vincent’s American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Smart Beauty Guide home page.

Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery

Ear Surgery, also known as Otoplasty, Cosmetic Surgery of the ear, ear reshaping or ear pinning.

Ear S<strong>urgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery of the ear, or otoplasty, is an aesthetic procedure that alters the size, position, or proportion of the ears. The outcome of ear reshaping surgery varies greatly depending on the changes that are desired, but these procedures generally improve self-confidence, especially in children and teenagers. If the ears stick out, ear pinning can be performed to flatten the ears against the head. If one ear is positioned higher than the other, ear repositioning can create symmetry. Large, oversized ears can be addressed alone or in conjunction with other ear issues.

When to Consider Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery

  • If you were born with overly large or small ears
  • If your ears are disproportionate to your head or oddly placed
  • If your ears stick out prominently
  • If you have suffered an injury that has negatively impacted the shape or positioning of your ears

Considerations for Ear Surgery

Pros

  • Ear surgery can improve the shape and proportion of your ears.
  • Ear surgery can provide a boost to your self-confidence and is a low-risk procedure that can be performed on children over the age of five.
  • Results generally last a lifetime with minimal fluctuations.

Cons

  • Young children might have trouble dealing with aftercare and recovery.
  • Ear symmetry may be affected.
  • Permanent scarring or numbness of the ear or face may result.

These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering ear surgery. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.

Are you a good candidate for ear surgery?

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider ear surgery:

  • If your ears have reached their full size, which usually happens around age six. Children are common patients for this procedure.
  • A set-back otoplasty, which is a procedure to reduce the prominence of ears that stick out too much, can be performed on adults as well as children.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

Detailed Procedural Info for Ear Surgery

How is a ear surgery procedure performed?

In children, the cartilage is soft enough that splints can be used for contouring during surgery. This is typically done under general anesthesia. Adults, however, have harder cartilage, and the procedure must be carried out by removing or repositioning cartilage after making a small incision in the ear.

Depending on your anatomy and desired changes, your doctor may make an incision hidden inside or behind the ear. Extra cartilage or soft tissue that makes the ear “stick out” too much can be removed. If normal folds are missing from the ear, they can be re-created by shaping the cartilage with permanent sutures or scraping the cartilage to contour it. Sometimes a combination of techniques is needed to get the desired result.

Otoplasty Ear Pinning Cosmetic Surgery

Surgery from the back of the ear shows from left to right, incisions are made to excise extra skin and fat, Cartilage is re-contoured and brought into position, Stitches close incision

Otoplasty Ear Pinning Cosmetic Surgery

Surgery seen from the front of the ear shows that reshaped cartilage restores a natural shape to the ear and allows the ear to lie flatter against the headEar Surgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery

Preop/postop appearance following an Otoplasty

Otoplasty Ear Pinning Cosmetic Surgery

Before: Large, oversized or uneven ears can be more noticeable on children and lead to self-confidence issues

Otoplasty Ear Pinning Cosmetic Surgery of Ear

 After: Otoplasty can be performed on children as young as five or six to correct large ears that stick out from the head

Ear Surgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery of Ear

Preop/postop Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Preop/postop Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Ear Surgery Otoplasty Cosmetic Surgery

Preop/postop Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

What will my ear surgery incisions and scars be like?

The location of your incisions will depend largely on what changes you wish to make. However, you can expect the incisions to be made in inconspicuous locations, either in the back of your ear where it connects to the head, or within the inner folds of your ear.

Selecting a Surgeon for your Ear Sugery (Otoplasty)

Select a surgeon you can trust

It’s important to choose your surgeon based on:

  • Education, training, and certification
  • Experience with ear surgery
  • Your comfort level with him or her

Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are experienced and qualified to perform your aesthetic procedure. Learn how to select a surgeon.

After finding a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who is experienced in performing ear surgery, you will need to make an office appointment to set up your consultation. Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation, there is a cost associated with the initial visit.

Your initial consultation appointment

During your first consultation, you’ll discuss the details of ear surgery and review the results you’d like to see. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for ear surgery, and will evaluate the shape, size, and placement of your ears to determine what sort of changes may be possible. He or she will likely examine both of your ears, even if you think only one needs pinning or reshaping. The surgeon may also take photos of your ears and face to help further investigate the proportions of your facial features. Alternative and additional treatments may also be considered.

    You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:

  • Previous surgeries
  • Past and present medical conditions
  • Allergies and current medications

Your treatment plan

Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s years of training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, including:

  • An approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures
  • The outcomes that you can anticipate
  • Your financial investment in the procedure
  • Associated risks and complications
  • Options for anesthesia and surgery location
  • What is needed to prepare for the surgery
  • What you can expect to experience after surgery
  • Share before-and-after photos of cases that are similar to yours and answer any questions.

Questions to ask your aesthetic plastic surgeon

We developed these questions to help you:

  • Make the most informed and intelligent decision about your procedure
  • Confirm that you have the right surgeon for your procedure
  • Make your initial consultation as rewarding as possible
  • Understand your options, potential outcomes, and risks

It is important for you to take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation.

  • Am I a good candidate for ear surgery, otoplasty, ear reshaping, or ear pinning?
  • Are my desired results reasonable and realistic?
  • Do you have ear surgery before-and-after photos I can look at?
  • Which procedure or method would work best for my ears?
  • Where do you plan to make the incision, and will the scars be visible?
  • What kind of anesthesia do you recommend for me?
  • What will be the cost of my ear surgery?
  • What will you expect of me to get the best results?
  • What kind of recovery period can I expect, and when can I resume normal activities?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • Will I able to change the look of my ears again after surgery?

Preparing for Your Procedure

How do I prepare for a ear surgery procedure?

Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery. If your doctor asks you to undergo any pre-surgery testing, be sure to schedule well in advance of your procedure.

In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

  • Stop smoking at least six weeks before your surgery to promote better healing.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that

can cause increased bleeding.

  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
  • Practice good skincare. You should rinse the skin on and around your ears with warm water and use sunscreen.

Eating well, minimizing stress, and exercising frequently are important to make sure you are best prepared for your surgery. You should also plan ahead for the recovery period after your procedure by taking time off from work and ensuring that you have everything you’ll need close at hand while recovering.

What can I expect on the day of ear surgery?
On the day of surgery, you’ll be asked not to take anything by mouth, including any food. You should only drink the minimal amount of water needed to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth—anything more than this could result in the cancellation of your surgery. Wear comfortable clothing on the day of your procedure.

Your ear surgery may be performed in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite.

  • Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
  • General anesthesia is commonly during your ear procedure, although local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be desirable in some instances.
  • For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
  • Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery.
  • After your procedure is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.

You will probably be permitted to go home after a short observation period unless you and your plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery.

Additional Ear Surgery Options

Ear Surgery Cosmetic Surgery Earlobe Reduction

Earlobe Reduction

Ear Surgery Cosmetic Surgery

Ear Surgery for the repair of an elongated ear piercing or repair of the split earlobe

Cosmetic Surgery Keloid Ear Surgery

Ear surgery and treatment for ear growths (Keloid of ear)

Aftercare and Recovery following Ear Surgery

Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about:

  • Drains, if they have been placed (very rare)
  • Normal symptoms you will experience
  • Potential signs of complication

It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon, and to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

Immediately after ear surgery
Following the procedure, you will have dressing wrapped around your ears. Soon after the procedure, your doctor will remove this heavier bandage to inspect the ears, and will likely replace it with a lighter dressing. It’s essential to keep this dressing in place unless instructed to do otherwise by your doctor. Your surgeon may also prescribe medication to take during your recovery period.

Typically, you will be released from the hospital or ambulatory facility the same day as your procedure, but you must have someone drive you to and from the surgery.

Recovery time frame after ear surgery
You should have a responsible adult with you for at least the first twenty-four hours during your recovery period. For the first week of recovery, it’s important that you rest frequently, though you should still move around occasionally to keep blood flowing. To minimize discomfort, it’s recommended that you recline but keep your head elevated. Do not rest your head on the operated ear, as this can result in throbbing and general discomfort.

Your doctor will let you know when any dressing can be removed, and you may be asked to apply antibiotic ointment to the ears or perform other wound care treatment at home.

Approximately one week after your procedure, you will return to the doctor’s office. Your surgeon may remove stitches at this time, though absorbable stitches are often used, which do not require removal.

Though recovery is unique for every patient, you can expect to return to work and any light activity after one week. In two weeks, your final results will be visible, though small changes to the ears can occur for up to twelve months.

How Long Will the Results Last?

Results from ear surgery are typically life-long, barring any incidents which impact the shape or proportion of the ears.

Maintain a relationship with your aesthetic plastic surgeon
For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to your plastic surgeon’s office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your ears. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.

Associated Costs of Ear Sugery

The cost of ear surgery or otoplasty varies from doctor to doctor and from one geographic area to another.

Because otoplasty is elective surgery, insurance typically does not cover these costs. Many surgeons offer patient financing plans to make the procedure more affordable.  The practice of Michael P. Vincent MD FACS participates with CareCredit.  Click on the Logo for more information.  Our practice participates with almost all health insurance plans and will be glad to check insurance coverage.

Cosmetic Surgery Financing

Choose your surgeon based on quality, training, and experience—not cost.

See why ASAPS members are widely recognized for upholding the highest standards in the area of aesthetic plastic surgery by viewing their basic credentials, training, and certifications.

Limitations and Risks

There are few risks associated with ear surgery, but as with any invasive surgery, there’s always a potential for complications. It’s important to be in regular contact with your surgeon after your procedure to ensure you are on the right track to recovery.

Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures

Following your procedure, it’s normal for your ears to swell and feel tender. You may also see redness around the affected area and experience tingling in the outer ear, though this will reduce over time.

If you notice any of the following issues during your otoplasty recovery, it’s essential that you contact your surgeon immediately:

  • Swelling or redness that lasts for longer than two weeks
  • A fever higher than 101 degrees
  • Dizziness, nausea, or incoherent behavior such as hallucinations
  • Severe pain that cannot be controlled with any prescribed pain medication
  • Excessive bleeding in or around your ears
  • Any severe disproportion in your ears, particularly if it looks as though fluid is collecting in one ear.

The rare but potential risks associated with ear surgery are:

  • Scarring, though most scars will be small, white, and unnoticeable
  • Alterations in the sensitivity of the skin on or around your ears
  • Bleeding or infection
  • Asymmetry in the positioning of your ears due to changes that occur postoperatively

If you notice any of these issues, get in touch with your surgeon as soon as possible to discuss plans for further treatment.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your ear surgery.

Photos and illustrations are examples and meant to be helpful, informative, and educational.  No implicit guarantees regarding similar results can be given.  Additional information and the above text can be found on Dr. Vincent’s American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Smart Beauty Guide home page

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