Otoplasty Fixed My Big Ears
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Let me give you a little background on what let me to getting ear surgery. I never thought that I would be the type to get plastic surgery but when you deal with something so uncomfortable as large ears for so long, you eventually start to think about the possibility of cosmetic surgery. I never thought I had anything wrong with me but when I was in elementary school a girl came up to me and said 'You have big ears!'. I'm not really sure what I did at the time but I am sure that I ran off and cried, or cried to my mom when I got home. Kids are usually mean before they learn how to compose themselves as young adults and adults but they unfortunately usually tell the truth. When someone said something to me about my ears, that was the first time I started feeling very self conscious.
As I grew older the self-confidence continued to plummet. I made sure to always wear my hair down so it would cover my eyes. It was actually quite a pain because there are lots of times where you don't want your hair in your face, but I would be so embarrassed to put my hair up and have my protruding ears stick out. Even when I went to the grocery store I would wear something to cover my ears or had my hair down. It wasn't until after high school that I started actually considering visiting a plastic surgeon and seeing if anything could be done about my large ears and earlobes.
So even though my plan was to get the surgery after high school, I ended up not staying disciplined and hadn't saved up enough money. I was researching online and I saw that the cost was usually somewhere around $5,000-$6,000 so I knew that I needed to start saving a lot more. I do and did have a job so I was able to save, and when I talked to my parents about me possibly getting otoplasty surgery they were very supportive. They told me if I was able to save $2,000 they would cover the rest of the surgery, which I was super thankful for.
It took me till about when I was 20 to save up enough money and now it was time to start looking for plastic surgeons to perform the ear surgery. It is kind of difficult to find the best surgeon for the procedure because there are lots of contradicting reviews on the internet. You also have no clue if it is just someone from their staff writing a good review, or a disgruntled crazy patient writing a bad review. I did visit a lot of websites and looked at before and after photos of certain doctor ear surgeries to make sure I was choosing the best one.
One piece of advice that I will give is, since a lot of them charge a consultation fee, I would choose one at a time so you don't end up spending hundreds on fees. Luckily the first doctor that I went to was the doctor that I chose to do the otoplasty surgery and my fee went to the cost of my procedure. My doctor ended up being a facial plastic surgeon which means they are trained to do surgery on all areas of the face. Make sure when you choose your doctor, that they are trained in the procedure you are getting. For example, if I was getting a breast augmentation I would have chose a plastic surgeon versus a facial plastic surgeon.
When I was in the consultation we discussed the price of the procedure. He usually charged $4500 but gave me a deal for $3500. However, you also need to pay for the medical facility and for the anesthesia so it ended up costing around $5500. When I was reading about the surgery I saw that some patients are able to have local anesthesia and be awake during the procedure. I told my doctor about my fears of being awake, and he agreed and told me he usually performs the surgery using general anesthesia anyway so that was a big relief for me.
Long story short, I ended up scheduling the surgery for a month or so after my consultation. The doctor gave me a couple prescriptions to fill before the procedure so I had them. One was pain medication and the other was an antibiotic to prevent any post surgery infections and make sure I heal properly. I am not too big on taking any sort of hardcore pain medications but I still had it filled just in case I needed it. I was planning just to use some ibuprofen if I did feel immense pain.
My surgery was planned for early in the morning, so I was not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours prior to the surgery. When I got to the surgical center there were a few tests they had to one which including me having to pee in a cup. They always want to make sure that you aren't pregnant. Then they took me to a surgical bed, took my vitals, and gave me an IV that would be used to administer the anesthesia. The anesthesiologist told me they were going to start giving me the anesthesia. He then placed an oxygen mask over my face and told me to countdown from 10. The next thing I knew I was slowly waking up in post-op.
It took me a while to fully wake up. All I can remember is how dry and sore my throat was because of the tube they put down it. I kept coughing and started freaking out a little bit. The nurses were very sweet and came in to calm me down and told me where I was and everything was going to be okay. They gave me some ice chips to chew on while I continued to wake up. After about an hour, I started to come out of my blur and they gave me some juice to soothe my throat. It's funny that my ears really didn't hurt at all, it was just an uncomfortable feeling with my throat.
My parents were in the post-op room and when it was time to leave they asked if I wanted to walk out or have a wheelchair roll me out. I still felt pretty woozy because I was still weening off the anesthesia so I chose the wheelchair. My head was completely wrapped in bandages around my chin so it looked super funny - kind of like when someone gets hurt in a cartoon and they get foolishly wrapped in bandages. When I got home I really was wide awake and felt no pain. I just rested on the couch and watched tv. I did end up eating some soup because I hadn't eaten in so long and I was starting to get bad headaches. Again that could be a combo of coming off the anesthesia and not eating.
Medication wise, I did end up taking the pain medication just in case I did feel some pain. I only took it for the first day and a half before switching completely to ibuprofen. I also took my antibiotic right when I got home from surgery.
My first night trying to sleep after the surgery was kind of a disaster. I wasn't tired at all and wasn't really in much pain but if you lay a certain way on your head it did feel like a lot of pressure was squishing my head. Not to mention, I usually sleep on my side and you are not able to after you get the surgery. You need to sleep with your head up. I did buy a special pillow but it took me a while to get used to it. I think I ended up sleeping like 5 hours on and off, and took a pain pill at like 4 in the morning because I started to feel a little more pressure on the side of my head.
A day and a half after the surgery I ended up taking my bandages off and putting on a headband that they gave me that was helpful for ear recovery but also made me a lot more comfortable and able to go out into a public setting. Unfortunately you do need to wear the headband for about 6 weeks while your ears heal. This prevents anyone or anything from bumping into your ears. I was also able to take a shower which made me feel a whole lot better. I liked the way my ears looked when I took the bandage off even though they were swollen and a little bruised. I knew that once the swelling went away I was going to be so happy with my new ears.
Two weeks post surgery my ears were still a bit swollen but were starting to come down a little bit. I also went back to the doctor for an appointment and so that he could take my stitches out. He told me that everything looked great and asked if I was happy and told him I was thrilled. If you are struggling with an insecurity it is okay to get cosmetic surgery. There is no reason to spend your whole life unhappy when there are professionals who can improve your life. My self esteem is at a new high after ear pinning surgery. I hope my review will help you in your personal journey!