Otoplasty – Frequently Asked Questions
Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, is a plastic surgery procedure that seeks to improve the appearance of ears and make them more in proportion to the size and shape of the head. In particular, this is common amongst children where ears can protrude abnormally and can cause notable problems with bullying and self esteem.
How is Otoplasty performed?
There are a number of variations depending on the abnormality. Incisions are placed behind the ear to reduce the signs of scars after the operation. If the ears are protruding, they may be rotated back. If some of the natural folds are missing, they are created. Any abnormal or vacant sections of the ear may be constructed from tissue taken from the other ear or body.
Is there much bruising?
It usually takes a week or two for most of the swelling to subside, although the ear will be sensitive for around 3 weeks. Bruising is minimal, as is scaring, which will fade to white and is often not visible at all.
What is the best time for Otoplasty?
The best time to correct any deformity is when the ear has stopped growing. Normally this is around 7 years of age.
How do I know that Otoplasty is right for me?
If you are healthy and looking to improve the appearance of protruding ears, Otoplasty may be right for you. It is often difficult for children to agree to surgery at a young age and often people will wait until adulthood for the operation. However, if teasing at school is affecting a child it should be taken seriously and the surgical options explored.
Can you exercise after Otoplasty?
Strenuous activities and contact sports should be avoided for at least a month following the surgery to avoid actively injuring the ear. Light exercise is usually fine, but please check with your doctor as each procedure is different.
How long does the procedure take to perform?
Otoplasty usually requires two to three hours to complete and can be done under either a local or general anaesthetic depending upon the patient.
When can you see the results?
You shouldn’t check the ear until the pressure dressing is removed so as to limit the risk of infection. After your dressings are removed however, you will see an immediate difference in the shape of the ear, although there may still be a bit of swelling which will fade quickly.