Does otoplasty require anesthesia for the patient?

Does otoplasty require anesthesia for the patient, submitted image.

My 15-year old son is very embarrassed by his ears because they stick out on either side of his head. We've told him that if that's what he wants, he can have surgery done on his ears to correct their appearance. What seems to be making him most anxious is whether or not he'll need to be completely put under during the surgery. Is this truly the case? I'd appreciate any counsel you can provide concerning this important matter.

Tags:age 17 or under anesthesia

Dear imnatalieg:

At the very least, local anesthetic will be needed. It has been described as a "bee-sting" before the area goes numb, but many injections will be necessary. Topical anesthetic can be use pre-injection to help reduce the bee-sting. 

I believe that anxiety reduces the pain threshold and if it can be diminished, less post-operative pain will occur as well. It is my recommendation to consider at the minimum, oral sedative and for the best experience, IV sedation for the procedure.

Should there be some post-operative pain, have the surgeon consider cutting LidoDerm into small "postage stamp" size patches to place behind the ear for pain relief. 

This is a very worthwhile, esteem producing procedure. I wish him well. 

Otoplasty can be done under local anesthesia if desired.  Otherwise, a mild sedative can be administered.  Many patients fear anesthesia -- and yet, when the procedure is completed, they say that the anesthesia was the best part of the entire operative experience.  Speak to your surgeon for further reassurance.

He would not need to be put completely under for otoplasty but I would counsel him regarding the benefits (comfort, ease for the surgeon, etc). He is a great candidate and will be thrilled with the results.