Ear Correction (Otoplasty)
What is an otoplasty procedure and why is it performed?
An otoplasty procedure can help men, women and children over 5 years of age to overcome the embarrassment and distress caused by irregular shaped or protruding ears.
It is now widely accepted that it can be psychologically harmful for children and adolescents to leave protruding and irregular shaped ears to become a point of undue attention throughout developing years. Consequently, ear correction surgery is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures provided to children.
The ultimate objective is for the surgeon to create a natural, proportionate and symmetrical appearance, leaving no visible sign that surgery has taken place.
An otoplasty procedure can involve the surgical refining of the size, shape and position of the ear, or a combination of all three of these conditions.
What kind of people request this procedure?
- Children and adolescents, who are self conscious about their protruding ears
- Men and women, who feel restricted in their choice of haircut, in order to hide their protruding ears
- Men who find it more difficult to hide their protruding ears as their hair thins with age
How is an otoplasty procedure performed?
An otoplasty is performed by refining or thinning the cartilaginous structure from behind the ear. Surgical incisions are usually placed behind the ear in the natural crease (where the ear margin joins the side of the head) and consequently scars from this particular procedure are not usually visible. Occasionally, for the correction of large ear lobes, external incisions may need to be positioned on or around the lobe area, but these excisions are usually insignificant in size and tend to blend in with the natural contour and creases around the ear lobe once healing is complete.
Following the surgical re-contouring of the cartilage, the skin at the back of the ear is re-draped and secured in place by surgical sutures (stitches) and then supported in the new position by a carefully applied, turban style pressure bandage. This pressure bandage typically stays in place for around 5 – 7 days following surgery.
This procedure is usually performed as a day case under local anaesthetic or may involve a one night’s stay in hospital if performed under general anaesthetic. Under normal conditions a typical otoplasty procedure can take around 1 hour to perform.
What are the results like?
This procedure can provide excellent results. The procedure is a very precise one and should only be performed by a Consultant Plastic or Consultant ENT Surgeon who is fully qualified and experienced to skilfully perform this type of surgery.
Improved results will take place almost immediately following private otoplasty surgery, but these results will initially be obscured by the pressure bandaging and then the bruising and swelling which typically follows this type of procedure. It can take 7 to 14 days for this initial swelling and bruising to settle to an acceptable appearance. After initial swelling has settled down, subtle improvements to the contour of the newly shaped ear will take place for up to six months following surgery.
How will you feel after an otoplasty procedure and what is the recovery period like?
Following the ear correction procedure the ear incision and surrounding skin area are often quite tender for several weeks after surgery. Analgesic tablets (pain killers) are always provided for any discomfort and patients are encouraged to stay as upright as possible during their early recovery stage to help diminish residual swelling and bruising. Patients usually describe the way they feel as “sore and uncomfortable” rather than experiencing specific pain. These symptoms typically diminish rapidly after postoperative bandaging is removed.
Each surgeon’s private otoplasty technique can differ slightly and surgical wounds can be sutured with either absorbable or unabsorbable stitches. If stitches need removing, they are normally removed 5 – 7 days following surgery.
Patients are asked to avoid any level of activity that would put undue strain on the newly operated areas and to avoid contact sports for six weeks following surgery.
It is important for patients to keep their hands away from healing wounds and to pay meticulous attention to personal hygiene throughout the early post operative period.
It is usual for patients to take at least one week to rest and recover at home following this private ear correction procedure.
You can’t usually use your private medical insurance for cosmetic surgery but you can pay directly for your Ear Correction (Otoplasty) treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you able to use your health insurance please do contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Hatfield Hospital.
Why One Healthcare
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in March 2016 (Ashford) December 2017 (Hatfield)
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, Xray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience
Contact us and find out more
Contact our team to find out more information regarding private Ear Correction (Otoplasty) or to book an initial consultation.
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If you are based in and around Hertfordshire and would like to visit the One Hatfield Hospital please click here.