You are interested in information regarding surgery to
correct a "deformity" of the ears.
Dr. Capuano will discuss with you the various methods of
therapy that might be appropriate in your particular case.
If the edge of the ear 'sticks out' then the cartilage at
the edge is molded so that it curls backward. The technique
does not use sutures and the chance of a permanent result
is very likely. Further 'pinning' back of the ear can be
achieved by removing a portion of the ear cartilage in the
'cup' area of the ear.
In some cases there are small areas that are pointed on
the edge of the ear. These areas can be treated by contouring
The ear lobe can stick out or can be larger than desirable.
Portions of the lobe can be removed it this is the case.
In some cases the lobe is too small. Fat transfer can be
helpful in such cases.
The number of 'deformities' or little problems are many
and all can not be described. Usually most problems involving
protruding ears or ears that 'stick out' can be improved.
Problems after surgery are rare. Bleeding and infection
are very rare. The final 'look' of the ear is usually quite
acceptable and secondary surgery is not too frequent.
Insurance coverage is rare. In cases where severe psychological
injury has occurred then certain insurance companies have
paid for surgery. The patient must be seen by a psychologist
or psychiatrist and there must be documentation of the psychological
problem. Also the ears must protrude at least 1.8 cm (slightly
less than 3/4") to qualify in certain plans. The total cost
of ear surgery varies from fifteen hundred to three thousand
dollars Some 'simpler' problems might cost less. Many people
benefit throughout their lives and are relieved of many
embarrassments when their ear problems are treated early
ANESTHESIA FOR SURGERY
Surgery is usually done under sedation and local anesthesia
(Novacaine-like) anesthesia. Check the web page on local
anesthesia and sedation. Other times when the individual
does not want to be aware of anything or the child is four
or five years old then a general anesthetic (totally asleep)
can be used. Please see our web page about general anesthesia.
Dr. Capuano will discuss the anesthesia options with you.
If you decide to have surgery under general anesthesia,
or if the patient is very young, there is an extra fee which
is usually not paid for by insurance. You will be given
an estimated cost for these services.
Surgery is performed at the Ambulatory Surgery
Center. You will be given a time to arrive at the Center.
Do not eat or drink anything from midnight the night before
your surgery, or your surgery may be canceled.
BEFORE SURGERY CARE
We ask that you shower and shampoo every day for at least
three days before surgery using Dial or Safeguard soap.
Pay particular attention to the ear area. Do not apply creams
or lotions for one day before surgery. Do not take aspirin
or products containing aspirin for at least three weeks
before surgery. Do not eat apples, as they contain an aspirin-like
substance. Garlic also has an aspirin-like substance, so
do not eat a lot of garlic before surgery. Aspirin "thins"
the blood, which may cause more bleeding during or after
surgery, and can increase problems following surgery. If
you are presently taking aspirin on the advice of a physician,
let us know prior to your surgery.
Dr. Capuano will see you just before your surgery, and
mark the incisions using a marking pen. You will be awake,
so you will know where the incisions will be. SOMETIMES
INCISIONS OTHER THAN THOSE OUTLINED TO YOU HAVE TO BE MADE.
AFTER SURGERY CARE
Following surgery, you will have a large bulky dressing
wrapped around your head. This should remain clean, dry
and on until you are seen in the office. Do not shower or
wash your hair. You will be given prescriptions, or asked
to buy over-the-counter medicines following surgery. These
medicines are for swelling, pain and infection. Take these
medications as directed, and finish all medications unless
advised otherwise. If you have a problem, CALL THE OFFICE.
You will be asked to call the office to make an appointment
to be seen following surgery. Call as soon as possible.
Dr. Capuano will tell you after surgery when this appointment
should be. It is usually between five and seven days following
You should rest and relax at home. Do not do any stressful
or straining activities, i.e no heavy lifting, no bending
over, etc. If you have questions, please ask.
At the time of your first office visit after surgery, the
large bulky dressing will be removed, and you will be advised
regarding wound care. You may be asked to wear a smaller
dressing or an ace bandage, depending upon the extent of
wound healing. Many patients can wear ski bands or other
types of compressive bands as a dressing. Sutures may be
removed, or you may have dissolvable sutures. Usually you
can resume showers and shampooing after this first visit.
Following the dressing removal, you should wear an "ear
cap" while sleeping. This prevents pulling on the ear while
asleep. This can be made from any soft material, for example
a ski cap or ace bandage, etc.
ACTIVITY AFTER SURGERY
Regarding return to work following surgery: Your return
to work and/or usual activity depends to a great extent
upon your job. Many patients are able to return to usual
activity within one to two weeks following surgery, however
this varies from person to person. Please discuss your job
with Dr. Capuano, who will be better able to give you an
estimate as to return to work. Please remember that any
estimates given are only estimates.
If the patient is a child, participation in school physical
education classes should be avoided until Dr. Capuano gives
his OK. The office will provide an excuse should one be
required from the school.
Vigorous activity after surgery should be avoided. Each
person and surgery is different, but generally six weeks
is needed for healing. After this time, vigorous activity
can be resumed, but a head band or compressive bandage should
be worn for at least six months to avoid unanticipated injury
to healing tissues. Cartilage is one of the slowest healing
tissues in the body, which is why prolonged "banding" is
You will be seen in the office periodically for follow
up care. Photographs will be taken before, possibly during
and after surgery. If photos have not been taken, please
let us know. You will not be identified except for our office
records. Photographs taken are the property of Dr. Capuano,
and may be used for teaching and/or lecturing.
Dr Capuano does not do the following operations
- Hair Transplants - - Scalp reduction - - Sex change operations
- - Breast augmentation by fat injection - penile enlargement
+/- fat injections
OTOPLASTY (EAR SURGERY)