Ear reshaping surgery, or otoplasty, is a procedure that is used to ‘pin back’ overly prominent ears. The goal is to achieve a natural appearance, with the ears in harmony with the rest of the face. The operation is more commonly performed in childhood but is also successful in the adult. All incisions are small and well hidden at the back of the ear.
Prominent Ears (Otoplasty) Surgery Technique
Otoplasty surgery may be helpful for the following conditions:
- Large or protruding ears
- Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)
- Cupped ear (a small ear)
- Large, stretched, or torn earlobes
An incision is made behind the ear to gain access to the cartilage, which is then is reshaped, contoured and then sutured into a more aesthetically pleasing position.
Incisions nearly always camouflage nicely in the natural crease on the back of the ear. The skin is then closed and a bulky dressing and headband is applied for about five days.
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Prominent Ears (Otoplasty) Surgery Recovery
The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic as a day case, but children often choose to stay a night in hospital.
Following surgery, a bulky bandage will be placed over the ears to protect them for 5-10 days as well as helping control the swelling. Patients can usually return to work or school once the bandage has been removed. After this period, the patient is encouraged to wear a tennis headband to bed for another 4-6 weeks to protect the newly reshaped cartilage.
Most patients report very little pain after this procedure, although there may be a little discomfort or soreness if you bump your ears over the first few weeks.
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Meet the Experts
Dr Rohit Kumar is an Australian trained and fully certified cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Dr Kumar completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1995 at the University of Queensland. He subsequently went on to successfully complete a Masters Degree in the field of Burns Surgery in 2004 – MMedSci (Burns)
His advanced surgical training commenced in the specialty of General Surgery in which he trained for four years. This gave him a solid foundation of technical knowledge and surgical perspective upon which he then built his considerable skills, once he commenced his advanced training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The Australasian training scheme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is one of the most thorough and rigorous in the world and upon successful completion of this training, over a period of ten years, Dr Kumar was awarded his Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – FRACS (Plas).
He thus brings over 15 years of surgical experience to his practice having been involved in over ten thousand procedures in that time.
Prominent Ears (Otoplasty) Surgery Risk
If you are considering otoplasty surgery then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.
While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.
The Risks include…
- Bruising, swelling and pain
- Infection around the incision site
- Keloid or hypertrophic scars.
- Haematoma (large blood clot) that requires drainage
- Ulcer over the ear cartilage
- Permanent or temporary loss of sensation