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Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:56 pm

Hey all,
Well i'm getting otoplasty done tomorrow morning and i'm excited and slightly nervous but I know what to expect and most importantly i'm trying not to get my hopes too high. While this procedure is considered quite safe with high satisfaction, i'm keeping myself reserved in case it doesn't work out too well.

So reason for posting is that I would like to document my otoplasty journey over the next few weeks since I know if you were like me and tried to find as much info from real people about this operation as possible, then I know this might help other people in the future.

I'm 23 years old and male. I live in Melbourne, Australia. Ever since I could comprehend the awkwardness of having protruding ears i've wanted this surgery. As a result i've always had long hair (which frankly i'm sooo sick of, but i'd rather have long hair and cover my ears than short where the whole world can see my ears). Since I take after my mum's ears, she always understood my dislike of having protruding ears and was very supportive of me wanting the operation. My dad didn't see the need for it and thought it was just trivial. After taking some time to convince him and really just showing him that doing this is no different from 80% of kids who get braces these days, he agreed and ever since has been supportive of my decision.

Anyway, my operation is tomorrow morning and i'll be going in under general anaesthetic. The surgeon performing on my ears is Andrew Greensmith, who specialises in ears and noses from what i've heard. In finding the right plastic surgeon, from the beginning I had him and Chris Moss from Toorak in mind. However having heard negative things about Chris and how he carries himself (the rich, snobby kind) and after having my consultation with Andrew Greensmith I knew already that I was going to choose Greensmith. My initial impression of him is that he is genuine, skilled and professional. He doesn't come off across as rude or arrogant and that's what I like in the person who is going to operate on me.

I'll leave it at that for today and hopefully by the end of it all I can also post my before and after pics.
Along the way if people would like to ask questions about the experience feel free, i'll be happy to answer them if I can.
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:31 am

DAY 1

Was scheduled today to be admitted into the Avenue hospital at 6am today. I didn't sleep much last night so I was feeling fairly relaxed due to being drowzy/tired. After all the admin stuff, I was taken to my room where I waited and changed into my gown etc. I was taken into the operation theater at around 9am so there was a bit of waiting (most of which I slept or watched the World Cup on TV).
This was probably the most daunting part for me, the transition. For some reason it's slightly unsettling being wheeled into a room with people wearing masks and gowns with various machinery around them. But suffice to say all the staff were friendly. My biggest fear was the IV, i've had to go under twice before this and i've never liked being stuck with a needle, but I was so relieved to feel that this was the most pleasant and pain free IV i've ever had. I'm not sure whether it was b/c the anethetist was more skilled or b/c he inserted the needle into my forearm instead of the top of my hand, but really, being pinched by someone hurts more - it was a breeze :).
The operation went for about an hour.

So after I went under, I woke up and felt super groggy. I really just wanted to lie there and sleep, which I did for about 3 hours after being wheeled back in my hospital room. I didn't experience any nausea or headaches. Some time throughout the pharmacist came in with a course of antibiotics (to prevent infection) and painkillers. The antibiotics course has to be completed regardless but the painkillers is depending on how I feel.
After my nap at around 2pm I was feeling surprisingly really good. No pain in the ears and pretty revived from the nap. I assume tho that the local anethetics that were stuck in me while I was sleeping still had an effect. So I went home and eat a big meal - I was super starving since I hadn't eaten anything for 14 hours.

Since the release at the hospital till now (9pm) it's been a pretty smooth ride so far. Been chilling out with some movies and games. The local anesthetic however seems to have gone and it's now not completely pain free. But in honesty, the pain is really not a big issue in my case. From what i've read everyone has different experiences but on a 1 - 10 pain scale I think i'm sitting at around a 4. According to other peoples experiences the first couple days are the worst, but if this is the most I have to endure, it should really be an easy experience. That said tho sleeping is a bit bothersome as I tried napping a bit but the pressure pushes into your ears slightly. For that reason I think i'll take 1 painkiller tonight before bed, but I don't expect i'll need to pop more than 2 or 3 over this recovery.

So all up, a pretty positive 1st day. I'll say that i've had wisdom teeth removal (all 4 in 1 go) a while back, and that was by far much worse than what i'm going through right now. I'll continue with my updates, I hope it's helpful to other people to read this. The big part comes to seeing the results tho, i'm anxious and excited!
binyaminb
 
Posts: 11
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:43 pm

DAY 2 - 4

So far things are going pretty smoothly, at this stage there's not much to really say - i've taken 2 weeks off work since the operation and I have been at home just lounging around and relaxing.

In my previous post things seemed to be pretty rosey, but now that a few days have past I will just briefly talk about a couple of negatives that i'm experiencing at the moment.

- Sleeping has been pretty difficult for me the last few days. The issue i'm going through is when I lay my head on pillows as I sink in the pillows seem to be pushing against my headwraps and almost feel as if they're moving. It's not painful but at the same time I don't want to do anything that could compromise my final results. So last few nights I slept sitting up haha, wasn't the most pleasant experience.

- Eating is not as easy as I first envisioned. I'm noticing now if I open my jaw a bit too wide to chew I can feel a bit of throbbing in the lower portion of my ear. It is getting better with each day tho. But for ppl who choose this operation it might be a good idea to stock up on some soups for a few days!

- Lastly, be aware of what painkillers you're given. I was prescribed panadeine forte and didn't realise how strong they were. I went by the instructions and popped 2 on the 2nd night (my pain wasn't bad but the throbbing was annoying me). Anyway the side effects had me super drowsy and nearly throw up. So I told myself i'll rather bare any throbbing or slight pain for the remainder than take those pills again lol.

Anyhow I probably won't post again on this thread (unless ppl have questions) until I get my bandages off in 5 days since each day is really starting to feel the same and nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Each day the pain gets better.
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby tennis32828 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:30 am

Thanks for sharing your experience. I enjoy reading it. Notice this forum isn't too active. I am considering doing this operation as well (see my post). My question is did you have to take 2 weeks off of work? My doctor sounds pretty confident that I can go back to work after 3 days of recovery. Thanks
tennis32828
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:52 pm

Hey Tennis,

I'm fairly certain you wouldn't need 2 weeks off, however I took this under sick leave so I decided to go for 2 weeks just for good measure.

You'd probably be ok working after 3 days but in my experience there was still a bit of throbbing here and there and my sleep pattern is a bit messed up. So if you can spare it I would say 1 week is a good amount to take off.
Also depends on the type of work too I would assume. If it's highly physical then definitely take a bit more time off.

All the best with your decision!
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby bob721 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:31 am

Hi Binyaminb,

How did you go today with your bandages coming off?
bob721
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:52 am

Nice of you to ask, Bob.
Well yea today was the big day! Went into the institute today and Dr Greensmith unwrapped my head dressing.
Wow! They look amazing! I almost can't believe it... I mean I know it's a relatively easy procedure, but when you spend every day for so many years waking up and looking in the mirror wishing your ears were pinned back that you even fold your ears back with your hands just to see how they would look... It's kind of surreal that it's actually all done so i'm really happy but also it hasn't quite hit me yet.
Anyway to the results themselves. I couldn't be happier!! Looks natural. There's a very slight asymmetry with the top of my right ear ever so slightly sticking out a bit more than my left. But really it's so trivial and seeing how nearly no one has perfectly symmetrical ears it's really not a big deal. They're still a bit swollen and the top half of both ears are numb at the moment. I assume the nerves haven't completed healed yet.

Anyhow I do plan to post some before/after pics but I will wait till I have my review in 5 weeks time when the photographer takes the after shots (i'll ask her for a copy of the pics then i'll post them here). I want to wait a bit before posting my pics b/c from what i've seen many ppl's ears change position slightly from when they get their head dressing removed. So by 6 weeks i'm pretty sure my ears will be set in their position.

I really can't wait to get a short haircut haha. For me this is the best thing i've ever done for myself and it was well worth it.
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby bob721 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:19 am

That's awesome mate! Really glad for you. =D>

I know the feeling of looking in the mirror and pinning your ears back with your hands wishing that is how they were.

What is the healing process for you now the bandages are off?

Also in terms of getting a haircut, I've actually wondered whether you have to wait a while? I'm just thinking if it is an issue as the hairdresser will be cutting round the ears and putting some pressure on them.

One question about your consultation. Did you feel the 45 minutes was enough time? I'm booked to see Andrew in two weeks for otoplasty and rhinoplasty and I am wondering whether I should book a double session to allow enough time to cover both.

Looking forward to seeing the photos, and once again I'm really glad it worked out for you. :D
bob721
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:39 pm

Thanks heaps for the kind words, Bob :).

Now that the bandages are off things are really quite smooth. Of course i'm still taking extra extra care with them not to bump them etc. coz they are still tender and sensitive.
Sleeping is great now, I wear a headband at night while sleeping. I'm yet to sleep on my side however, which i'll probably hold off for a while.
I would take a bit of extra caution when showering also. Shampooing the hair try to be careful not to rub the ears and then when drying I recommend using a small towel to rub just the top of your hair. To dry the sides you can use a hairdryer at a distance and not too hot.

With the hairdresser those are also my concerns. So i'm planning to put off getting a style probably until the 6 week or 2 month mark. It's going to be kind of awkward but I think important to point out to the hairdresser that "I just had surgery so if you could cut my hair without bending or pulling on the ears that would be appreciated" etc. Better to encounter a bit of awkwardness than have them potentially damage a thousands of dollar operation.
But yea, I will wait a bit so it can heal more before I get it cut.

Hmm. If I recall right, I only really spent about 15 - 20 mins with Dr Greensmith in my consultation. I know it seems like such a short time to spend $250 on. But I had done so much research on the operation I didn't need to ask general questions like "Is it going to be painful? Can I exercise after the operation?" etc.
For me the important parts I wanted covered was the before/after pics, the cost, how many of his patients come back for revisions, and to judge his character as a person/surgeon. All were ticks for me so there wasn't much else we needed to discuss.
So I guess for you make a list of important questions you want to ask for both operations and judge if you think you might need more time. Also give a bit of time for him to do some general procedure explaining and maybe to do some calculations (that was the gist of my consultation with otoplasty anyhow, not sure if there might be different things you need to talk about for rhinoplasty).
Apart from that tho, I was also able to claim back roughly $70 from Medicare on the consultation alone. So yea be aware you may be able to claim back on some things, which is always nice! I haven't looked into how much I can claim back from the operation itself yet tho, and b/c I didn't have private hospital cover I couldn't claim back on the hospital fee.

I hope everything in the consultation goes well for you :). Feel free to keep posting if you got anymore questions!
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby bob721 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:46 am

Thanks Binyaminb!

So I'm guessing your back at work now huh? How has it been going back? Has anyone noticed/commented etc?

Question for you, have you noticed your hearing change at all? Was just curious as someone at work mentioned if you push your ears forward, things sound different. Funny thing is though I've never seen this brought up in any of my otoplasty research.
bob721
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:21 am

Hey Bob, sorry for the late reply! I started back at work and uni so I hadn't checked the forum much. Have you had your consultation yet?

Well yea, work and whatnot is all going fine. My life is pretty much normal again except for my exercising.
No one has noticed my ears at all both close friends and work mates. However for me I think it is much less obvious since for 5+ years i've had hair long enough to cover my ears. A couple weeks post op I got my mum to give me a careful rough cut of my hair just so I don't look so messy and for the first time in years my ears are uncovered so naturally the only thing other people commented/noticed is that I got a haircut haha.
I would imagine if a person had short hair for much of their life and then got otoplasty, the change in ear appearance would be noticeable to friends or people you see often.

About the hearing tho, so far my hearing hasn't been affected in the slightest and I don't expect it to. I'm not quite sure about the pulling ears forward and noticing a change. I'm still very much in a cautious/paranoid mindset at the moment so I don't dare play around with my ears in a reckless way.
On an unrelated aspect tho, I will mention (as you have probably already read many times through your research) that what ppl say about the ears coming a bit forward after the bandage removal is true. From when I removed the bandages to now (almost 3 weeks later) my ears have come out a bit and seemed to have settled for now in its natural healing spot I assume. It is noticeable to me and i'll say that it was unfortunately nicer when they were pinned back further, but at the same time what they are now is still heaps better than what they were before. And don't get me wrong I don't regret doing the operation at all I still would have done it regardless.
Also now that my ears are done I now notice everyone else's ears more astutely and i'm actually surprised at how many ppl's ears actually stick out slightly but isn't unattractive. As an overall face profile, ears that stick out only a little bit don't seem to be unpleasing to the eye I suppose b/c the viewer's attention isn't drawn away from the face to an abnormal protrusion.

Anyway enough of my rant, I hope this info is helpful to you!
binyaminb
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby bob721 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:55 am

Hi Binyaminb,

Dont apologise for the late reply. I figured you were out and about enjoying your new ears. :D

I had my consultation yesterday. Unfortunately it didn't go like I expected in a strange way. First off Andrew is a great guy and I would recommend anyone I knew to go see him. I was dead set on my ears, but 50/50 on my nose (depending on what he could do).

However he said my ears were fine and didn't need fixing/was too risky for what I was after. He mentioned my ears was what he roughly aims for after otoplasty :shock: .

He said because the top of my ear was already close to my skull, that pinning them back could result in not being able to wear sunnies/glasses. So too far, no glasses, and too little - well I've spent $$$ for next to no change and disappointment.

I didn't really like the image he made of my nose (not his fault, just how my skin is would mean I couldn't achieve the nose I wanted) so was happy to walk away from that procedure...until he had a look at my nose and said I had a deviated septum (basically nose is crooked inside so affects breathing). :shock: . So he suggested a septorhinotplasty (straightening the septum and doing the nose). Not cheap.

I can't say I was too happy walking out. Left with not be able to get what I wanted, and now needing something I don't want. I still look in the mirror and think how can he say my ears are fine. #-o

Despite that though, once again I would recommend him to anyone as he did what was best for me rather than potentially taking my cash and either pinning my ears back that I couldn't wear glasses or leaving my ears basically the same as they are now. =D>

I have thought about going for a second opinion, but after reading a number of horror stories about other melbourne surgeons, if they said yep I can pin them back, then I would doubt their integrity. I guess I want to go for a second opinion to hear the same thing as what Andrew said and then just accept it. :(

I guess for my ears, the journey ends here.

And even though things turned out the way they did, I'm glad all the reading I did by other people and yourself made me choose him too see.

So many thanks for all your information. It certainly helped me. :D

Despite this I still want to see how your ears progress and wouldn't mind seeing photos (only if you're comfortable).

I'm glad after the "bounce back" you are still happy with your ears. It's a bit of a tease though!

How do your ears feel? I know you wouldn't be touching them, but any tingling or "tightness". Is sleeping back to normal or do you wear a headband?
bob721
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:42 pm

Hey Bob,

I'm sorry things didn't go the way you wanted. Hmm, so will you end up looking into septorhinoplasty?
I am kind of surprised at his response about your ears. Which makes me curious to see what your ears actually look like. I guess it's good that he was being honest about it tho, but i'm sorry to hear about your frustration. Maybe for peace of mind you could get a 2nd opinion like you said if you didn't mind paying for another consultation.

No problem at all about sharing, it has been a unique experience for me.

Haha, it definitely is a tease. I wake up every morning to check my ears in case they suddenly just popped back to what they used to be. But the ears are feeling good. The pain is virtually all gone (unless I play around with my ears) but the tops of my ears are still a bit numb. They say it'll take a couple of months to before feeling in them returns. At night i'm still sleeping with a headband but my sleep is back to normal.
If everything goes well i'll still be posting my pics, i'm due for my 6 week checkup in 2 weeks time so i'll ask for a copy of my before/after pics then.
binyaminb
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:38 pm



Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby Alonso79 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:21 am

Hi Folks
I'm down to do my otoplasty in 7 days time and I am a little apprehensive about the recovery process along with several other things related to the meds required etc..
I kinda just want to get it done without all the recovery :)
I have one question I hope binyaminb (congrats & well done by the way) can answer for me and that is if the ears were wrapped/protected properly do you think it would be possible to play a football match 2 weeks post op???
thanks
Alonso79
 
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Re: Otoplasty Journey - Melbourne, Australia

Postby binyaminb » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:20 am

Hey Alonso,

I totally understand your haste in wanting to get back into normal life asap. From what i've read, surgeons say that contact sport of any kind should be avoided for at least 6 weeks post op. And even then, your ears should be treated with care. I think if there's strenuous activity or intense physical exertion, the build up in pressure could cause blood vessels to rupture in the ear and cause a hemotoma, at least that's how I understand it. Ask your surgeon for his professional advice on the matter.

But in my experience, at 2 weeks I had some throbbing still and was extra careful with my ears. I'm now at 4 weeks post op and tbh even now I still wouldn't engage in anything that could potentially damage my ears. I do kickboxing and since 3 weeks post-op i've only been working the bag and doing drills, I don't plan on sparring for a few months at least. So in my opinion even with some kind of headguard on I wouldn't play since there's that risk of getting tackled and traumatizing your ear. I would say be patient, it's a small sacrifice considering the thousands you'll pay for the operation.

Good luck with your surgery.
binyaminb
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:38 pm



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