Prominent Ear Correction
Otoplasty, also known as prominent ear correction, pinnaplasty and bat ear correction, is a surgical procedure that is performed to move the ears into a more natural looking position closer to the head.
What does the surgery involve?
Surgery is carried out through an incision hidden in the fold on the back of the ear. After gently lifting the skin off, the cartilage at the front of ear is scored with a blade to create the fold which is missing in a prominent ear. Once the operation is completed, the skin is re-draped and the incision is closed with a dissolvable suture. The stitches do not need to be removed. A crepe bandage is put around your head to protect your ears as they are healing and to prevent any bleeding.
The procedure takes about an hour to perform.
Ear surgery can be performed under a general anaesthetic (you are fully asleep) or local anaesthetic (you are awake).
Operations on the ears are not particularly painful. However, for the first few hours, your ears may throb and ache and/or you may feel sick. Any discomfort is usually quick to go away and requires only simple analgesia. It should feel quite comfortable by the next day.
Providing all is well, you can expect to go home the same day as your operation. Only occasionally will an overnight stay be required.
What are the risks and side effects of surgery?
Having cosmetic surgery can be a very positive experience. Complications are infrequent and usually minor. However, no surgery is without risk and it is important that you have a clear understanding of possible complications with this procedure.
Scar – these are hidden behind the ear and tend to settle remarkably well, so that they are barely perceptible. However, some people heal with thick scars and this can make them more noticeable.
Bruising and swelling – this is very common and bruising may take a couple of weeks to settle.
Haematoma – this can happen if a bleed occurs under the skin, allowing a large blood clot to form. If this does occur, it is likely to happen within four to six hours of surgery. Any increase in pain in the ears should be reported immediately so that treatment can be given. Sometimes patients need to have this blood removed with another short operation.
Infection – this is rare but needs to be treated promptly with antibiotics to prevent problems with the shape of the cartilage.
DVT/PE/fat embolus – following any surgical procedure it is possible to develop a blood clot in your legs, which could potentially break off and move to your lungs. If the blood clot is large enough it could prove fatal. In order to reduce any risks of this we give you special stockings to wear in bed and a blood thinning injection if you are not mobile.
Wound healing problems – this problem is very rare but more likely to happen if there is a haematoma that is untreated or an infection. This can cause pressure on the skin and cartilage, possibly resulting in cartilage deformity or loss of the skin. Further surgery may be required if this occurs.
Unpredictable results – these are possible. Cartilage is living tissue and it can occasionally alter its shape over time. Rarely, a second operation may be required to refine your results.
All the risks will be discussed in detail at your consultation. However, if you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to discuss these with meeon. Decisions about cosmetic surgery should never be rushed and only done after thorough research.
What happens after the operation?
You will have a dressing and bandage in place around your head, which will need to stay in place for about a week. The bandage is there to help the ears maintain their new shape whilst healing takes place. You will be given an appointment to see the nurse 1 week following your surgery to remove the dressing. At this stage you should not require any further dressings. I would recommend that you purchase a soft tennis head- band to wear in bed at night or during contact sports for the next 4 weeks. This ensures that the ear is maintained in a comfortable position whilst it is still healing.
I will see you in clinic at about 4-6 weeks or sooner should you have any problems.
If you have any worsening pain or bleeding please contact us for further advice to ensure you have not had a bleed.
What is the estimated time for recovery, absence from work and return to usual activities?
Most patients take a week off work whilst the head dressing is on and then you can return to normal activities. I would recommend that you avoid contact sport for 4 weeks following surgery.
How much does the surgery cost?
Pre and Post-Operation Instructions (PDF)
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or require a little more information then please do not hesitate to contact me.