Otoplasty/Ear Surgery, also known as Ear Pinning, Ear Pinback, or Ear Reduction Surgery, is the cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that permanently corrects protruding ears.
Ear correction can be performed under local anaesthetic or under general anaesthetic depending on your choice and following advice from Mr Uppal. Not everyone wants to take the risks associated with being put to sleep totally with a full anaesthetic. Most of Mr Uppal’s adult patients have their ears corrected under local anaesthetic. Not only is it cheaper but it is also safer. You can go home within an hour of your surgery and there is no need to be admitted to hospital or to starve beforehand.
Otoplasty or ear surgery costs depend on the individual as everyone has a unique ear shape. Ear surgery improves the ears by positioning the ears closer to the head (Ear Pinning), reshaping them, reducing their size, and making them more symmetrical. Protruding Ear Deformity is the most prevalent congenital malformation of the head and neck area.
Ear Surgery ranks as the most commonly performed plastic surgery Procedure on children between ages five and fourteen. In fact, Ear Pinning is one cosmetic surgery where “earlier is better” because of the effect on a child’s self-esteem. They may be teased for having protruding ears and being called names.
The optimal time for performing otoplasty in children is just before they start school, or at about the age of seven. At this age the ears have grown to nearly their adult size and the child is old enough to be able to undergo surgery safely. It also gives children a chance to correct their facial deformity before starting to socialize with peers in school.
Ear Surgery/Otoplasty has also been a blessing for thousands of adults who have spent their lives feeling self-conscious about their “big ears”. They have hidden their ears with hairstyles, hats, and avoided wearing ear jewellery. With Otoplasty they have gained the freedom to wear their hair short or pulled back, wear earrings, and no longer feel embarrassed about their look. While Otoplasty aims to normalize the appearance of the ears it can never produce perfect and fully symmetrical ears. Therefore, parents who are considering Ear Pinning for their children, and adults who are considering the procedure, should have realistic expectations. After all, no two ears are ever identical or perfectly symmetrical.
How is Otoplasty Performed?
Otoplasty, the reshaping and repositioning of the external ear, is done on an outpatient basis under local or general anaesthetic. Performed skilfully, Otoplasty makes the ears more proportional to the size and shape of the head, as well as pinning it back closer to the head. The procedure generally takes about one to two hours depending upon the degree of correction that his needed.
The projection and the size of the ear lobes can also be adjusted by removing excess skin and/or prominent cartilage.
After reshaping and repositioning the ear cartilages, the excess skin folds behind the ears are removed and the wound closed with sutures. Nobody has ears that are exactly the same on each side. The aim of the operation is to make the ears stick out less and not to create mirror image of each ear which is not possible. This is because the cartilage inside the ears is different on each side. Some people have stiff cartilage and some have very soft cartilage. Mr Uppal will explain this to you when you see him for ear surgery.
During your initial consultation, Mr Uppal will evaluate your health and explain the surgical technique he feels will be best for you or your child. Your initial consultation is also the time for you to discuss the results you are looking for. Mr Uppal will explain the surgery and the risks which include bruising, swelling, asymmetry, recurrence and a hidden scar behind the ear deep in the groove.
You should expect some discomfort during the first one or two days after your surgery although Paracetamol will be enough to control any pain or discomfort. You can also take Ibuprofen as well. A head bandage or a thin sweat band is worn for 5-7 days. A week off school is required. One can resume sports and swimming 2 weeks after surgery. The surgery takes about 45 minutes and patients go home a few hours after the surgery. All the stitches are dissolving so no need to have stitches removed.