How Much Time Between An Otoplasty and a Rhinoplasty?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am going to have rhinoplasty and otoplasty and, for a variety of reasons, will need to not do them together. I have some questions about the procedures:

1. How realistic is the imaged  “after” rhinoplasty result on the nasal profile? While the projection itself is noticeably smaller, I think half the effect comes from changing the slope of the upper lip. Is that something you could do along with the 1/3 to 1/2 reduction to avoid tip skin problems? 

2) I’m getting an otoplasty on March 11th. Is there a minimum time I need between the otoplasty and the rhinoplasty?

A: In answer to your questions:

1) The lip coming forward may have some impact on the perception of the dramatic change in tip projection. But, regardless of who did that imaging, you should know that is a ‘best case’ scenario and there is no guarantee you will ever get that much tip reduction. If you walk into surgery expecting that result and will be very unhappy if you do not get it, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Conversely, if you go into surgery hoping for that result but would still find it a big improvement to only halfway reach that amount of tip shortening then you will no doubt end up in a happy place.

2) There is not really a minimum time between two surgeries when they could be done either together or separately. The ears do not influence the nose or vice versa. It is more an issue of logistics for you such as work and other recovery issues. That being said, I would space an otoplasty and a rhinoplasty at least 6 weeks apart if the patient needed to separate them into two surgeries.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana