Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, is a surgical procedure which aims to correct the shape of protruded ears or ‘bat ears’ in both children and adults.
Normally, this procedure can be performed in early childhood when your child is around 5 or 6 years old. It’s best to get it done then as the ear is already fully formed at that stage, yet the cartilage is still softer than in adults, which makes it easier to reshape it. Otoplasty surgery can prevent the experience of being bullied in school and being teased about your child’s ear shape by their peers.
However, this procedure is not only for children. At some point in their life, many young teenagers and adults may find that they are unhappy with their ears being too prominent, and that they would like to correct their ear shape to make it in line with their natural facial contour. In this scenario, otoplasty would be a great solution.
What happens during Otoplasty Surgery and recovery tips
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and the duration of it is 1 – 3 hours. Your surgeon will make tiny incisions on the back side of your ear to expose, or in some cases remove, the cartilage. Then, he will fold the cartilage and stitch the ear back. As a result of this surgery, your ear will be placed closer towards your head which will make your face look more symmetrical and improve your facial harmony.
There may be scars, bruising and swelling resulting from this procedure, however, they would be behind the ear where they wouldn’t be noticeable. The bruising and swelling will eventually subside over a few weeks. Patients will need to take time off work or school for 7 days to allow the ears to recover and heal. You can rest at home as there is no need to stay at the hospital. Your surgeon will advise you to wear a compression bandage for the first week after the surgery and prescribe painkillers, such as Panadol, to relieve pain.Once the bandage has been removed, you will be asked to wear a headband for extra recovery and support for 2 – 3 more weeks.
Am I the right candidate for otoplasty?
While this procedure is suitable for persons of different age groups, it’s important to ensure that you are in good health and have realistic expectations about what the procedure will involve. Having a discussion with your plastic surgeon before deciding whether the procedure is right for you is a crucial step in your pre-surgery preparation. You can always contact our practice if you have any questions about otoplasty, or want to make an appointment.