Are your ears protruding? Are they misshapen or too large? Or don’t you like your ears because they are asymmetric? Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning surgery, is a procedure to correct prominent ears.
What is ear surgery?
When you have concerns about the shape of your ears, otoplasty may be a surgical procedure to consider.
The most common reasons for otoplasty are:
- Structural, cartilaginous or aesthetic concerns about the shape of your ears.
- Psychological distress about the shape or size of your ears.
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The surgery is very straightforward and involves pinning the ear posteriorly to achieve a more natural shape. The scars are hidden behind the ear.
If you have oversized or protruding ears, then otoplasty may be considered. This surgery is designed for patients with a realistic expectation for outcomes post-surgery and has a very high satisfaction rating. As children mature, the ears change shape and position. Children are usually suitable to have this surgery from the age of 5 but this can vary.
The most common type of ear surgery is ‘pinning’ which anchors the bowl of the ear back to your head using a variety of techniques. Scoring and permanent suture placement usually allow the cartilage to settle into the new position permanently after 3 months.
Reduction otoplasty is recommended for patients with oversized ears. We remove excess skin and cartilage to reduce the size of your ear or lobule (lobe).
Both ears are operated on at the same time.
Where do you operate?
Otoplasty procedure explained by Brisbane plastic surgeon Andrew Hadj
Ear surgery: step by step
Otoplasty is day surgery under local or general anaesthetic.
In general, incisions for otoplasty are made on the back surface of the ear.
Closing the incisions
When your ears are anchored in a natural narrowed position, we close the incisions.
Afterwards, a garment or head-compression is worn for 2 weeks to protect the position of the ears. Once the dressing is removed, you will almost see immediate results.
Otoplasty recovery explained by Brisbane plastic surgeon Andrew Hadj
Recovery after ear surgery
The surgery is not painful however you might feel some discomfort afterwards. Simple analgesia will be sufficient for the postoperative period. Antibiotics will be offered. Rest for the first week is essential and strict use of the head garment is critical. Sutures removed after 7 days.
You will wear a garment or head compression for 2 weeks to protect the position of the ears.
Working, bathing, exercising, driving and sleeping on ears?
Otoplasty surgery risks
Risks and complications
The following risks are associated with otoplasty:
- Bleeding and infection are unlikely but can occur.
- Bleeding will require surgery but is very uncommon. When this happens, it’s within the first 1 to 2 weeks post-surgery.
Otoplasty Brisbane cost
What does the procedure cost?
I charge a small out of pocket fee for otoplasty.
There are many low-cost options both in Australia and overseas and great care should be taken when dealing with a surgeon who is not an ASPS / AHPRA / FRACS recognised Plastic Surgeon.
Unfortunately, as mentioned in an ABC Four Corners report, many patients confuse plastic surgeons with cosmetic surgeons but the training differs significantly.
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It’s also recommended to always seek second opinions if you have concerns. Ultimately you should feel comfortable with the plastic surgeon you are seeing.
About Dr Andrew Hadj, Plastic surgeon Brisbane
Plastic surgery is the ultimate expression of art and science
Is there any difference between a plastic and cosmetic surgeon
Finding the right surgeon for cosmetic procedures can be a daunting experience if you don’t know what to look for.