otoplasty for ear correction
Protruding ears can cause people difficulties throughout their lives. Prominent years as a child may be made difficult through teasing, and as an adult protruding ears may cause people to become self-conscious about their appearance. Surgery to correct prominent ears is one of the most common and satisfying forms of aesthetic surgery according to a number of patient surveys. The results are effective and permanent. To get a better understanding of what is possible from the otoplasty procedure and the likely outcomes please see our before and after images below.
why choose otoplasty?
Protruding ears are a problem for around 10% of the UK’s population. Causes of protruding ears include there being too much cartilage on the ear, the ridge of cartilage at the top of the ear not folding properly as it develops, or as a result of injury to the ears.
Protruding ears have also been found to be a genetic characteristic that is passed from parents to children, although this is not always the case. GP referral for otoplasty will not normally be possible when it is to be carried out purely for cosmetic reasons, although in rare cases the NHS may fund procedures if evidence of psychological distress is presented. Having undergone the otoplasty procedure, many of our patients have noted how happy they are with the results and how their confidence has grown afterwards, feeling less self-conscious and no longer feeling that they have to keep their hair long or wear it down.
The otoplasty procedure
The otoplasty procedure is performed at our Manchester clinic by an NHS ear, nose and throat consultant surgeon at our Manchester clinic. A full CV and profile of the surgeon is available upon request.
Initial consultations are available at both our Leeds and Manchester clinics. Patients will then need to have a consultation with the surgeon at the Manchester clinic prior to the surgery. At consultation the surgeon will evaluate the ears and establish what is required to produce the desired shape. There are several techniques that can be used to reshape and set back prominent ears, so the most appropriate ones for the individual will be discussed. Patients will be given full verbal and written advice regarding the otoplasty procedure and usually we recommend that patients take some time to think about whether the procedure is right for them before booking in. At consultation, patients will be able to discuss their concerns, expected outcomes and be fully briefed on what the otoplasty procedure entails.
A technique that is often used involves the removal of a small ellipse of skin from behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage and then the surgeon can reshape the ear cartilage either using stitches alone or a combination of stitches and scoring of the cartilage to create a natural-looking fold to the ear and a normal position in relation to the head.
The procedure is performed using local anaesthetic, so patients will be able to leave the clinic on the same day. The procedure takes roughly 30-45 minutes per ear. Full details about the otoplasty procedure at Skin Medical can be found on our frequently asked questions page.
after the procedure
At the end of the procedure a turban bandage is usually applied for 7 days – this must be kept on for 7 days. Dissolvable stitches are generally used, but if other sutures are used patients will be given an appointment in 5 – 7 days for their removal. Patients will not be able to wash their hair for 1 week post-procedure.
Pain and discomfort is variable and medication is only required during the first 24 – 48 hours after the procedure. Patients will be prescribed pain relief as well as an anti-inflammatory and antibiotics to prevent infection.
A post-operative check will be performed 7 days after the procedure where the bandage will be removed. It is important that you wear a headband/sweatband at night for 6 weeks post-procedure to ensure the safe positioning of ears and optimal results.
risks and side effects
As with all surgical procedures, there are risks associated with otoplasty. Common side effects include:
- Soreness, swelling and bruising around the ears
- Numbness around the ears – this usually only lasts for a few weeks
- Scarring on the back of the ear – this should fade with time.
Rarer side effects include:
- Infection – we provide a course of antibiotics after the procedure to prevent this
- Haemotoma (bleeding/blood clot under this skin) – this may disappear on its own, although it may have to be removed by the surgeon
- Unevenness – this may require additional surgical intervention
Patients will have follow-up appointments one week after the procedure and subsequent appointments may also be required to monitor their progress. If patients experience any side effects after their procedure we recommend that they contact the clinic.
booking a consultation
You can discuss your individual requirements directly with our clinicians. We do not employ patient coordinators or sales persons so all advice that you are given at consultation will be from a medical professions. To book your clinical consultation you can use our online booking system or call your nearest clinic:
Manchester – 0161 839 7663
Leeds – 0113 323 0735