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Ask the Experts
Otoplasty, also referred to as pinnaplasty, is a surgical procedure used to improve the position and shape of ears. This form of aesthetic ear surgery can also be used to improve large, stretched or even split earlobes or lobes with large creases and wrinkles. The function of the ear is not affected by its shape; however patients who opt for this surgery are often dissatisfied with protruding or misshapen ears which the surgery can help rectify.
Our genes largely dictate the shape and size of our ears. In these respects, ears can vary enormously between individuals as well as between the right and left side. In situations where the ears appear to be particularly prominent or when the shape looks decidedly out of the normal, psychological effects are often experienced. The child with protruding ears is often the subject of continuous taunts and teases which can be upsetting. Feelings of self- consciousness, rejection and hostility can become underlying reactions to lack of peer acceptance.
We will set up expectations with you. This may include ideal size and shape of the ears. We will review your medical history to accommodate for any medical conditions that will require attention before, during or following the procedure. These medical conditions may include but are not be limited to: uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems or the tendency to form excessive scars. You may be required to cease certain medications and/or take other medications prior to and after the procedure.
The main surgical objective during prominent ear correction surgery is to reduce the protrusion and at the same time to provide a normal configuration when the ear is viewed from the side.
This objective is achieved by modifying the flexibility of the cartilage beneath the skin, thereby creating a more desired shape and position. An incision of around 4-5 cm is made in the skin in the groove behind the ears where any remaining surface scarring will be less visible.
Occasionally, incisions are placed on the front surface of the ear, although these are placed inconspicuously within the normal contours or creases. After correction of the shape and position of the ear is accomplished, the incisions are sutured and the ears are carefully padded with cotton wool and secured with a bandage.
If you have discussed the procedure and conveyed and agreed your expectations fully before the operation, chances are you’ll be quite pleased with the result. By significantly improving the appearance of prominent or misshapen ears, successful otoplasty can also boost personal confidence and self-esteem.
If it is understood that the goal of otoplasty is an improvement and not perfection, then this can be deemed one of the more successful cosmetic surgery procedures.
Ear correction usually takes around two to three hours under local anaesthetic. Providing you feel fit and well, you should be able to return to your hotel within a few hours of surgery.
We usually recommend about a week off work to fully recover. This will, of course, depend on your own individual circumstances and your type of employment.