Prominent ear correction (Otoplasty)

Ears are made of skin and most importantly, cartilage, which gives ears their complex shape. If the folds in the cartilage are poorly developed, prominence (sticking out) of the ears results. Occasionally an excess of cartilage worsens the prominence. It is a very common problem (5% of UK population) and although it is harmless it may make affected people feel insecure or embarrassed and can lead to teasing of affected schoolchildren.  It often runs in families. The aim of the surgery is to remodel the ear cartilage to produce a more aesthetically pleasing shape and correct the prominence.

Who is suitable for an otoplasty?

Ear reshaping surgery can be performed at any age after five years.  Both children and adults can have an excellent outcome from the surgery. Satisfaction is high and many patients derive significant psychological benefits.

What does the operation involve?

In children the operation is performed under general anaesthesia. In adults it can be performed as a local or general anaesthetic procedure. An incision is made on the back of the ear, the cartilage is weakend with multiple cuts to allow it to fold and stitches  are placed to maintain the new shape.

What happens after the operation?

Your surgery will last 60 to 90 minutes and you will usually be able to go home the same day as your surgery. You will be placed in a head bandage before going home and asked to leave all dressings intact until you return 1 week later for a wound check and dressing change.  After 1 week you should be in minimal discomfort and be able to return to light duties at work at 1 – 2 weeks.  You should refrain from strenuous activity or exercise until 6 weeks after your surgery.

How long do the results last?

Ear reshaping surgery is an operation that is designed to last a lifetime.

What are the risks of an otoplasty?

Complications are rare and include: mild skin infection, bleeding (blood clot requiring surgical drainage), noticeable scars, and asymmetry. There is also a 5% risk of recurrence of the prominence although this can be easily corrected.

Further Information on Ear Reshaping

BAAPS Patient Information On Otoplasty

Prominent ear correction, scar is in fold behind the ear

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