Unilateral Otoplasty - Absolutely Perfect Results!

I've posted several times over the past year and a...

I've posted several times over the past year and a half as I've followed my young son's otoplasty and now revision surgery (done the same day as my uni-lateral 5 days ago), and now at last I have my own story to share.

I've always had one "bad" ear and one "good" one. The bad one is the same sticking-out shape as both of my mother's ears were when she was born (her parents got them pinned when she was 5, back in the 1950s when plastic surgery was relatively new), as were her father's and grandfather's before her. But I guess since I just had one bad ear, she never bothered to get mine fixed. I got teased in elementary and middle school for it, especially when I had short hair. I grew my hair long in high school onward to now (at age 35), so I've styled my hair around it ever since. But by this age, I was beyond tired of the side ponytails or puffed-out hair around my bun or back ponytail, trying to make my ear look as though it was sticking out simply due to hair pushing around it.

Anyway, when my son was born with both ears sticking out, I knew right away (and my husband was agreeable) that we'd be getting them pinned when he got old enough. His otoplasty in December 2012 was only partly successful, and needed a revision. The ear-nose-throat doctor who performed the surgery (also a board-certified plastic surgeon) felt bad about how much the revision was going to cost us, since our insurance had changed since the last surgery; it was a flat $150 co-pay in 2012, but now we have a 20% co-pay and it's required to be done in a hospital. So, he arranged to do my son's surgery done at an oral/maxillofacial surgeon's office in his complex, and just have us pay $500 out of pocket (versus the $1500+ our co-pay would have been using insurance at a hospital), and just to be nice, he offered to fix my ear for free! So my cost was $0 for this procedure.

My son's ears still don't look quite right and I hope it's the swelling that's making them still stick out on top; they do seem a bit better each day. BUT mine look absolutely perfect! As a mom, I'm actually wishing it were reversed and his were the immediate success instead of mine ;) But as for me, I would go out without a headband proudly right now if I weren't being told to wear it for a week. My "new ear" looks THAT good. I can't wait to wear a tight ponytail for the first time in my life, instead of puffing my hair back out around my ears. I might even start to wear hats, and to part my hair to the right for a change!
How in the world did your insurance pay for something so cosmetic?? Or was it medically necessary somehow? I wonder if all insurances pay for it haha that'd be great!
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Insurance sometimes will pay for it for a CHILD. To make it easier for them to wear helmets, more comfortable to sleep, etc., and also to prevent teasing. But even then, it has to be approached from a medical standpoint rather than a cosmetic one. Yes, we wanted otoplasty for our son 95% for cosmetic reasons, but it was only the other 5% that I talked about when I brought him to a doctor - and that doctor was an Ear-Nose-Throat, not a regular plastic surgeon. And that's what our insurance saw when the paperwork was filed. (Of course, we went to an ENT who's also a board-certified plastic surgeon!)
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Thanks for sharing your experience, Melissa! You look fantastic! Perfectly symmetrical and you can't even see that anything's been done. I hope your son eventually has the same great results. We'll be cheering for him. :)

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One month later, still great!

My ear looks fabulous. Still a bit sore, but who cares!?! I can sleep on my side when I use a neck pillow with an opening in the middle, where I can place my ear (a tip I learned from another reviewer here, thanks a million!). It's come out the teensiest bit; it was a smidge closer to my head than my "normal" ear post-op, and now it sits just a smidge further out than the normal ear. Only I can tell though. I still wear my headband at night, after wearing it 24/7 for the first week. I think I'm a week past the point when the ENT said I could stop with the headband, but as long as the ear is sore, I'd rather not risk knocking it in my sleep.

My son's ears are looking good! Definitely better after the swelling subsided. They fold out at the top more than I'd prefer, but their position looks great, much further back. And I know his was a challenging case, with so many things causing the protrusion: overized bowl, missing fold, and overall just large ears on a 6-year-old. But they definitely no longer look remarkable or unusual, just plain old boring ears... YAY!
oh it looks GREAT i hope to get one here soon 24 years with these ears is ENOUGH haha
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Got it. Smart! :)
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Newport News Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Wilson is an ENT and board-certified plastic surgeon. He's very personable and kind, and I can't thank him enough for offering to do my surgery in conjunction with my son's revision otoplasty. He did a wonderful job on both our ears and I would definitely recommend him!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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