Ear reshaping, or otoplasty as it is technically known, is cosmetic surgery to alter the appearance of the outer ear, either by reshaping or reducing the size or by bringing protruding ears closer to the head.
Protruding ears can have a damaging effect on a person’s self-confidence and this relatively straightforward procedure can give patients a renewed feeling of assurance. Sometimes the ear is too large, too tall or too thin and they can look unbalanced.
Otoplasty: Am I suitable?
Otoplasty can be performed on children as it is not something that is likely to correct over time.
Your consultation with your surgeon will determine whether the op will give you the results you are expecting. Also a full medical history will be taken to check whether you’re physically able to undergo the procedure.
Otoplasty: What do I have to do to prepare?
Your surgeon will give you instructions to help you prepare for otoplasty surgery and these may include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
Otoplasty: What’s the treatment like?
To correct protruding ears, the surgeon will make an incision behind the ear and then remove and reshape the cartilage and skin to achieve the right results. The cartilage will then be pinned back with permanent stitches. The procedure can be done under local anaesthetic and takes around two to three hours.
It is also possible to reduce the size of both the ear lobe and the ear itself – to reduce the size of the ear an incision is made in the folds of the ear so it is well hidden and a crescent-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the over-large areas of the ear and the ear remodelled.
Otoplasty: What about after?
It is necessary to wear bandages around the ears for a week until the stitches are removed – results are noticeable as soon as the bandages are removed.
Otoplasty: Are there any risks or side effects?
There are the usual complications that accompany surgery but, particularly in the case of otoplasty, these are straightforward procedures with a high success rate.
Otoplasty: What will it cost me?
It can range from £1,000 to £3,000 although it might be possible to have the operation done on the NHS, particularly in the case of children.