Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to change the shape or size of the ears. You might consider Otoplasty if your ears are too large, extend too far from your head, or are somehow misshapen due to injury or birth defect. Patients respond well to ear correction surgery as long as their ears are fully formed. Normally, Otoplasty is almost always performed on both ears, even if only one is considered undesirable by the patient, to keep the face symmetrical. This procedure does not affect the position of the ear, or the ability to hear, it is purely aesthetic.

Surgery is carried out under local or general anaesthesia and takes around 1-2 hrs, providing the surgery goes well, patients can return home the same day.

Incisions are made discreetly in the fold behind the ear, which in turn means scarring is barely visible, the cartilaginous structure is then refined or thinned. If larger lobes are a concern, incisions may also be required on the lobe to allow the reshaping of the area and to create a more aesthetically pleasing ear lobe.

The incisions are then sutured and surgical bandages and a compression garment are placed on the area to immobilise the ears and promote healing, this is usually required to remain in site for 7 days post-operatively.

Otoplasty is a commonly performed procedure that carries minimal risks such as blood clots, infection or keloid scars. Occasionally, patients (particularly children) may notice that the somewhat elastic cartilage “springs back” to some degree, although this is not typical. More serious concerns such as overcorrection, irregular contours, cartilage infection or hearing complications, while possible, are very rare.

Once the Otoplasty surgery is complete, the patient’s head will be wrapped with special heavily-padded cotton bandages, referred to as “fluff bandages”, for healing. After a few days, the patient can remove the fluff bandages, but will need to wear a lighter bandage for another few days. Approximately one week following the procedure, all bandages can be removed.

The patient will then be directed to wear a soft headband that covers the ears in order to hold them in their proper position. Depending on the needs of the patient, we may indicate that the headband only be worn at night, which is when the ears are more likely to lose their new shape.

At what age can Otoplasty be performed?

Otoplasty can be performed once the ears are fully grown, which typically occurs around the age of four. There are many benefits to performing the surgery at an early age as it can lessen the emotional and psychological discomfort a child may otherwise have to endure.

Will I have scars after undergoing Otoplasty?

Though the incisions made for Otoplasty do result in scars, they are hidden as they are usually located behind the ears.

Will I experience any pain after undergoing Otoplasty?

Some throbbing or aching of the ears may occur during the first few days. This can be managed with medication.

When will I be able to return to work after my Otoplasty surgery?

Patients can usually return to work or school within five to seven days.

When will I be able to exercise after my Otoplasty procedure?

Strenuous activities and contact sports may need to be postponed for about one to two months.