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EAR CORRECTION (OTOPLASTY)

Otoplasty, also known as Ear Correction Surgery, is performed to correct prominent ears and is achieved by re-structuring the ear folds and adjusting the ears in order that they sit closer to the person’s head.

Often, patients with prominent ears have two specific features: The angle of the ear from the skull is increased, and the edge of the ear has an irregular shape. Both of these features contribute to the visual aesthetics, and both are specifically addressed with this operation.

Often patients who suffer from prominent ears are likely to have been plagued emotionally by this since early childhood. Corrective operations can be performed ahead of secondary school, once the ears have developed fully. Performing this procedure can dramatically change the confidence of a child, and as adults gives you the freedom to style your hair in any way you choose, which may often been avoided. There is strong evidence to suggest that this condition is often hereditary and parents may decide to allow their children to undergo surgery that they have previously received.

Otoplasty consultation: What to expect

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is always the first step when you are considering any type of surgical procedure and will take approximately 45 minutes.

During the consultation, the doctor will ask you a variety of questions, covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. They will also want to discuss any current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.

During the consultation, the doctor will ask you a variety of questions, covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. They will also want to discuss any current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.

The recovery process and any possible complications which may arise will also be discussed.  You are of course welcome and encouraged to ask any questions you may have about any aspect of the surgery.

What does Otoplasty involve?

An Otoplasty should be performed by a specialist plastic surgeon as a permanent correction for protruding ears. The operation takes place usually under general in a hospital or day surgery, anaesthetic. There are a number of methods to reshape the ears. A specialist plastic surgeon will recommend a surgical procedure dependent on the specific issue and the severity of the condition.

Cosmetic surgery to the ears consists of making a small incision at the skin’s fold against the head, directly behind the ear. The cartilage is then reshaped and repositioned into the desired point using a method which best suits each individual patient’s requirements. For example, a plastic surgeon may opt to use multiple shallow incisions, or a method known as ‘scoring’; ‘trim’ the cartilage to re-contour the ears’ shape, or use internal stitches to position the ear closer to the head.

When correcting prominent or overly large ears, a small portion of cartilage will be removed from the bowl of the ear, which is known as ‘concha fossa reduction’. This adjusts the entire ear in order to make it sit closer to the head.

The right degree of correction for a natural result from your ear surgery is determined during consultation with your surgeon. They will allow you to view before and after pictures of our previous liposuction patients. This will give you an indication of the results you can expect to achieve.

Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?

Otoplasty is performed in a fully accredited day surgery unit or hospital, commonly under general anaesthetic. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning you are able to return home on the very same day.

How long does corrective ear surgery take?

Otoplasty takes approximately two-and-a-half hours; the exact time varies depending on each patient’s individual circumstance.

Some small adjustments to fix prominent ears and their symmetry is carried out during corrective ear surgery, which means the surgery needs to be tailored to you.

What is recovery like after prominent ear surgery?

Advancements in anaesthesia in recent times have resulted in a more comfortable, less painful procedure with minimal post-operative sedation and nausea and a more rapid recovery. The anaesthetists in our team are highly skilled and experienced in these modern processes and highly committed, ensuring your comfort at all times. Local anaesthetic, which is injected once you are asleep will ensure the ears are pain-free for several hours, even after your surgery. A head bandage, similar to a turban is worn for approximately a week. Discomfort afterwards is usually treated with normal over-the-counter pain medications.

Swelling and bruising is commonplace following the procedure and may take some weeks to diminish. You will be advised to wear a wide headband over the ear area during sleep, to protect your ears during early recovery, and to avoid strenuous exercise or heaving lifting for at least three weeks. Aside from these inconveniences, recovery is usually painless and rarely are there any complications.

Post-Operative instructions advised by your surgeon must be followed to ensure a safe and fast recovery.

What scarring is there from ear surgery?

The incision made during otoplasty is hidden behind your ears, at the fold of the skin by the face, meaning Otoplasty scars will not be visible to anyone looking at you. Occasionally additional scars are deep in the bowl of the ear, which again are unnoticeable.

Otoplasty results: What and when?

Once the bandages on your head are removed, you will notice immediate results, however the full results can be seen six weeks post-operation, once the swelling and bruising has fully subsided.

Comparing results

Common concerns

You will go home the same day but would be required to wear a custom-made head bandage to protect the surgery. After one week sutures will be removed and it is recommended for the patient to wear a headband for 6 weeks.

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