Otoplasty is defined as surgery to change the shape and sometimes position of the ears.
The most common type of otoplasty is adjusting the protrusion of ears. Over projected ear (sometimes cruelly known as bat ears) can be corrected with the use of special sutures, which fold the ear cartilage back to more acceptable positions. Such surgery is usually not carried out before the age of seven as early surgery could affect growth. This kind of surgery can be carried out under local anaesthetic with or without sedation. A bandage is usually worn for about five to seven days after the surgery, which as I mentioned can be carried out as a day case. The scaring should be very difficult to see as it is positioned in the crease behind the ear. Rarely thick scars can develop and sometimes asymmetry may persist and a small number may need post operative adjustment.
Changing the position or size of the ear is more rare and a more difficult operation. It needs careful consideration before embarking on such surgery.
Counter-intuitively small adjustments to projection are sometimes more difficult than major ones because the margin for error in terms of patient satisfaction is greater.
My ears are quite pointy at the top, can otoplasty fix this?
Probably - without seeing you in person I can not accurately comment. The best way forward is to arrange a consultation. So you know, the shape of the ear can often be changed and/or corrected with otoplasty, a lot of the surgery success is dependant upon the desired outcome, which we will discuss in detail during consultation
I’m only 15 years old but my ears stick out quite far, am I too young for surgery?
No, I am happy to meet with teenagers regarding their ear shape, size and protrusion. Together we can decide the best way forward to reach your goals, but at age 15 you are not too young for surgery.
Is ear pinning surgery permanent?
Yes - ear pinning surgery, or otoplasty, is a permanent procedure for changing the protrusion or shape of the ears.
What makes a good cosmetic surgeon?
This is a complex question in reality. Firstly a cosmetic surgeon must be a good doctor. Cosmetic surgery should be no different from any other form of healthcare delivery. To be a good cosmetic surgeon one should have had thorough training. Experience and judgement are the keys. Also an ability to have the emotional intelligence required to fully understand the needs and expectations of the patient and to make sure that there is no mismatch with what is possible.
Can I see before and after pictures of patients considering the same procedure?
Most certainly! During consultation I am happy to share before and after photos with you of people who have had the same procedure(s) you are considering. By doing this during the consultation, and in person, I have the opportunity to relate the example specifically to your situation, highlighting outcomes and helping with expectations.