…. immediate and permanent
reshaping of ear deformities!
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure to change the shape, size or position of the ears. Although most often used when the ears stick out too far from the head, an otoplasty can also be used if one or both ears have been deformed through injury.
Protruding ears can develop on one or both sides due to abnormalities in the anatomy of the ear cartilage. Otoplasty can correct these abnormalities and bring about immediate, striking and permanent changes of facial appearance.
Otoplasty is a very rewarding form of ear surgery for both surgeon and patient because with ears pinned back, the patient’s appearance, self-image and self-esteem all dramatically improve. Men can wear their hair as short as they wish without feeling self-conscious and women can wear eye-catching earrings with their hair pulled back without attracting the ‘stares’ we all dislike!
With children, it’s important that the Otoplasty is done at around 6-7 years of age in order to avoid the teasing and bullying that this condition often attracts from their peers around this age. Continual teasing by other children can be devastating to a child and can lead to self-consciousness, body image problems and more serious psychological disorders. So, early treatment is urged.
Although Otoplasty is more often requested by teenagers and adults, doing it in childhood has the following distinct technical advantages:
- The cartilage in children is softer and more easily moulded.
- It avoids the risk of teasing and taunting from other children at school – a not-uncommon problem in children around this age.
At your initial consultation, our Otoplasty Surgeon will first need to determine the specific abnormality in the ear cartilage that is causing the deformity as this will determine the surgical technique required.
VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ:
Currently, there are two ways of performing an Otoplasty that deserve your careful consideration:
1. Incisional Otoplasty
This is the time-proven and more effective technique to permanently correct protruding ears. An incision is made on the back of the ear and the ear cartilage is exposed. The cartilage is then modified to allow the ear to sit closer to the side of the head. The skin incision is closed with sutures that either dissolve or are removed 7-10 days later. The resulting scar behind the ear becomes very inconspicuous over time.
2. Non-Incisional Otoplasty
In recent years, a new and less invasive method of pinning back protruding ears using only sutures has been widely promoted, often by doctors without the surgical qualifications, training and experience required for the Incisional Otoplasty technique.
While you may find this non-surgical technique very tempting, please bear in mind that not all ear deformities can be corrected using sutures alone, and accordingly, your result may be somewhat less than you had expected.
Moreover, the sutures may fail to hold and allow the original deformity to spring back into place.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Sydney Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic does not recommend or offer the Non-Incisional Technique.
|Non-Incisional Otoplasty||Incisional Otoplasty|
|Incision||No incision is involved. Instead, a series of sutures are inserted to pin the ears back closer to the head.||Incision is made along the back of the ear to gain access to the underlying cartilage and correct whichever deformities are causing the protrusion.|
|Effectiveness & Duration of Correction||A less reliable technique. Owing to the tension involved, the suture may fail to hold and allow the original deformity to return. If the sutures fail, the procedure needs to be repeated or preferably, replaced with the Incisional Technique.||Better able to address all the finer causes of each individual’s ear protrusion. A more effective & permanent result|
|Anaesthesia||Can be performed under Local Anaesthesia +/- Sedation||General Anaesthesia|
|Operating Time||1½ hours||2 hours|
|Recovery & ‘Downtime’||1-2 weeks for the bruising and swelling to settle. Anchoring Sutures are hidden and remain in place. There are no external sutures to be removed.||1-2 weeks for the bruising and swelling to settle. Sutures are removed after 7 days.|
|Scar||None||Usually fine and very inconspicuous|
How is it done?
An Incisional Otoplasty is performed in a Licensed Hospital under General Anaesthesia.
However, an overnight stay is not required. You can go home shortly after the procedure and recuperate there. However, you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can be with you for the first 24 hours.
Post-operative pain is usually mild only and can be easily relieved with simple analgesics that your Surgeon will have prescribed for you.
Recovery after an Incisional Otoplasty
Initially, your ear(s) need to be covered with a bulky compression bandage for around 7 days.
Sutures are usually removed when the bandage is taken off.
When your Surgeon removes the bandage, the ear(s) may look bruised, swollen and uneven. Don’t be alarmed as these appearances are normal and will settle over the ensuing 2-3 weeks.
After your compression bandage is removed, your surgeon may recommend that you wear a tennis-type headband, at nights only, for a further 2-3 weeks to support the re-shaped ear cartilage in its healing phases.
Adult patients usually prefer to wait for the bandages to be removed before returning to work. You should refrain from strenuous exercise for 2-3 weeks.
Children can return to school when the bandages are removed but need to exercise extra care during playground time.
Females should avoid wearing their earrings until all swelling has subsided as inserting them can be difficult as well as pose a risk of introducing an infection.
Before & After
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If you need to finance all or part of your procedure, National Regulations require that you must source your own funding through a bank or any number of Medical Loan Providers such as the above easily found by searching on Google.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Incisional Otoplasty is performed in a licensed Hospital or Day Surgery under General Anaesthesia.
No. After 1-2 hours in Recovery, you can go home and recuperate there.
Most adults return to work as soon as the bulky compression bandage is removed after 7 days.
Pain and discomfort are minimal and easily relieved with pain-relievers. Once the bandages and sutures are removed after 7 days, you can return to work.
Strenuous exercise should be avoided for 2-3 weeks.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.