Asymmetry Following Otoplasty
It’s not uncommon to have some
residual asymmetry following otoplasty surgery. Symmetry is an aesthetic goal of every bilateral cosmetic
surgical procedure, but may not be attainable for a variety of reasons. It’s important to understand that some
asymmetry is a normal phenomena.
In many cases this is related to swelling and may take 3 to 6 months to
The moment surgical dressings are
removed following otoplasty, patients will notice dramatic changes in the
appearance of their ears. They
will immediately notice differences in contour and shape of the ears.
Initially the ears will be swollen,
numb, red and bruised. This will
improve significantly in the first 6-8 weeks following surgery. Small amounts of residual swelling may
persist for 3 to 6 months following surgery.
Six months following surgery, you
should be able to see your final result.
At this point, your ears should no longer be
swollen or tender.
Uneven Ears After Otoplasty
Pain and numbing are normal and depend on the individual. By three months you should be able to see how your ears will be positioned. If you are truly concerned, I would recommend consulting with your facial plastic surgeon about a possible revisional otoplasty. But try not to expect both of your ears to look exactly the same as it's pretty normal for them to still have some differences.
Aching and tingling may linger for months after otoplasty but should resolve. The ears are rarely precisely the same size or exactly the same shape just as most facial features demonstrate some asymmetry. I always measure ear heights and projection and bring this to the attention of patients preoperatively. It can take up to a year to reach th final result.
Asymmetry after otoplasty
Usually 3 months after an otoplasty, your results will likely be long-lived. If you have marked asymmetry, then perhaps a revision is in order. Slight asymmetries meanwhile are not something that most, if not all, people would notice. The numbness after otoplasty is usually self-limited and gets better with time. Chronic pain after otoplasty can be a function of the type of otoplasty you had done and the extent of the projection correction (cartilage excision). Prolonged inflammation or indolent infection are also concerns. Always talk to your doctor directly about your issues.
Uneven ears after otoplasty.
Don't worry too much if your ears aren't perfectly symmetrical - nobody's are. It is natural to sit in front of the mirror and analyse your ears after surgery, but in life, we rarely see people square on. The ears are very forgiving and you can often have asymmetrical ears, which no one will ever notice.
Obvious if the asymmetry is significant, or if it is really bothering you, you can have a revision, but I would live with them for a while and see how you get on.
Three months after otoplasty
At 3 months, you have likely achieved nearly 90% of your final results. Some generalized laxity and scar maturation may produce softening of the scars with less tenderness and may take up to 2 years.
In general the healing process for almost any surgery can take up to a year and sometimes longer. Granted, the majority of healing and swelling dissipates within a few weeks, but it can last for months. The numbness usually improves over time.
Otoplasty and the healing process
It can take up to one year for the final appearance of the ears to be the same and for all of the swelling and the discomfort to resolve from the surgery. That being said if one is overly pinned than the other, this may have to be corrected if it does not spring out over the next three months or so.
Asymmetry Following Otoplasty
The asymmetric pain and tingling sensations that you note are not that unusual for 3 months out from otoplasty. These symptoms should resolve on their own over the next few months. With regard to asymmetric appearance of the ears at 3 months, it is likely what you see is sort of what you get at this point. It is not uncommon for the ears to look slightly different following otoplasty as long as the difference is not too obvious. If so, sometimes a quick office-based revision will be all that is needed to create sufficient symmetry where you are happy. In other cases, a more involved revisionary procedure is needed. Much of this depends on what your ears looked like originally and what was done to them during the otoplasty.
One of the biggest challenges of otoplasty is creating symmetry post procedure. Generally speaking, caliper measurements of the superior, middle, and inferior portion of the ear both pre procedure and post procedure allow the surgeon an objective means of adjusting the degree of "pinning" the ears back. At the end of three months, any asymmetry seen is likely to persist. Improvement in asymmetry may range from a simple office procedure to a a complete revision of your ear.