For many, it can be a source of embarrassment, leading to issues with self confidence – and in children it can unfortunately lead to teasing and bullying at school.
The cause of the protruding ear is multifactorial: it has a genetic component and can run in families. Anatomically speaking, ear reshaping surgery is performed on patients where:
There’s too much cartilage
Not enough of the cartilage folds backwards
Traumatic injury has changed the ear shape
Ear reshaping surgery, otoplasty or pinnaplasty aims to restore the normal anatomy of the ear by a variety of techniques that enable the ear cartilage to be reshaped. This can be done during infancy by splinting the ears, or once the child/adult is older by surgical means.
The Ear Surgery Procedure
An initial consultation must always be carried out in order to gain a thorough view of your medical history, requirements and suitability for otoplasty. It’s important to bear in mind that cosmetic surgery has some limitations, and to be realistic of what can be achieved.
The most common surgical procedure is to make an incision at the back of your ear and place carefully selected sutures to help reshape your cartilage to the desired look.
Ear surgery can be performed on children from the age of 5 years, using general anaesthesia, while in adult patients it can be performed under either local or general anaesthesia.
Otoplasty Recovery and Complications
After your surgery, you’ll be able to go home the same day wearing a head bandage. You should be able to return to work 1 week after the surgery and back to light exercise in 2-4 weeks after the operation. Full recovery is after 6 months in terms of return to contact sports.
When ear reshaping surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, the patient can achieve a great outcome with an uneventful recovery. However, in a small proportion some complications are a possibility, such as:
Bleeding (haematoma which needs surgical drainage)
Residual prominent scars
There’s up to a 10% risk of recurrence after ear shaping surgery, which can be treated with a secondary procedure.
To book a consultation with one of London’s leading otoplasty specialists, or to find out more about ear surgery, please call 0203 733 3224.
For further information on ear reshaping surgery, please visit the following links:
BAAPS Patient Information on Otoplasty
BAPRAS Patient Information on Otoplasty
ASPS Patient Information on Otoplasty