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Ear Pinning

Ear surgery (Otoplasty)

Children and adults with prominent or deformed ears are often the victims of teasing and unpleasantness which can cause great embarrassment and loss of self-confidence.  Otoplasty is the surgical procedure used to alter the size or shape of a person’s ears. The goal of the operation is to restore the balance to the face, shifting unwanted attention away from the prominent or misshaped ears.

The ear is mostly made up of cartilage, except for the ear lobe, which contains only skin and soft tissue. During the procedure, cartilage is reshaped to correct any deformities.  In the case of prominent ears, a wedge of cartilage is removed from the back of the ear, allowing the ears to lie closer to the head.

FAQs

How long does it take to do the procedure?

The operation takes under two hours to complete.

 

What type of anesthesia is used for otoplasty?

Otoplasty can be performed using either a general anaesthetic (always used for small children) or a local anaesthetic.  The type of anaesthesia depends upon age, level of correction needed and personal preference.

Providing all is well, you can expect to go home the same day.

 

What are the risks and side effects of surgery?

No surgery is without risk, but in general, no major complications are expected with this procedure.

Blood can collect beneath the skin of the ear, which may need to be drained.  Infection, a risk after any operation, may also occur, although this too is rare. Scars usually fade until they are barely noticeable but in about two out of every hundred people, they can become thick and red. Rarely, a keloid scar may form and further treatment may be required. The operation may occasionally fail, in that the set back ear may protrude again necessitating a further operation.

The ears will be very sensitive to minor trauma or contact in the first six to eight weeks. Any knocks to the ears from playing contact sports, or playful blows from brothers or sisters, can cause discomfort out of all proportion to the strength of the blow. Care needs to be taken during this time.

Reduced sensitivity and numbness can occur in the ears. This may last as long as twelve months following surgery and on occasion may be permanent. Your ears may also turn deep red or purple when you go out in cold weather during the first few months.

 

Is otoplasty permanent?

The physical results from corrective ear surgery are immediate and should provide life long correction.  For some adults, however, the psychological trauma of being constantly teased or bullied over the years can take its toll. 

 

What are the risks and side effects of surgery?

No surgery is without risk, but in general, no major complications are expected with this procedure

Blood can collect beneath the skin of the ear, which may need to be drained.  Infection, a risk after any operation, may also occur, although this too is rare. Scars usually fade until they are barely noticeable but in about two out of every hundred people, they can become thick and red. Rarely, a keloid scar may form and further treatment may be required. The operation may occasionally fail, in that the set back ear may protrude again necessitating a further operation.

The ears will be very sensitive to minor trauma or contact in the first six to eight weeks. Any knocks to the ears from playing contact sports, or playful blows from brothers or sisters, can cause discomfort out of all proportion to the strength of the blow. Care needs to be taken during this time.

Reduced sensitivity and numbness can occur in the ears. This may last as long as twelve months following surgery and on occasion may be permanent. Your ears may also turn deep red or purple when you go out in cold weather during the first few months.

 

Will there be visible scarring?

Any incisions are placed behind the ear.  In most cases, there will be no visible scaring.

 

How will I feel after my surgery?

After the operation, some swelling and bruising can be expected, but this usually settles down in the first few days. Your ears may also feel sore and uncomfortable, although significant pain is very rare.

 

When will I be able to get back to my usual schedule?

At the end of the operation, an elasticated head dressing is applied. It is there to protect the ears and helps to maintain their new shape. This is removed about seven days after surgery when all stitches are removed. A ski type headband or sweat band is then worn at night for a further six weeks to help protect the new position of ears when sleeping.

You should be ready to return to work or school about one week following surgery and after six weeks, return to any contact sports and /or swimming.

 

Ear pinning before and after surgery

Patient A

Before Surgery

 

Six weeks after surgery

 

This photograph clearly shows the position of the incision line.

Patient B

Before surgery

 

 

 

Seven weeks after surgery

See how the ears sit much more closely to the side of the head.

 

 

 

Scar line

This photograph was taken seven weeks after surgery. The incision line can be seen as a fine, red line.

 

Mr Henley would like to thank these patients for allowing their photographs to be displayed for the benefit of others who may be considering cosmetic surgery.

The information provided is intended to give a brief outline of the procedure. It is not a substitute for a personal consultation with a surgeon.

 

Contact 0115 8773711

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