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Otoplasty - Ear Reshaping Surgery
Female Image Gallery Otoplasty - Ear Reshaping Surgery
Male Image Gallery Otoplasty - Ear Reshaping Surgery
About The Procedure
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. This is often performed on children after the age of four; however, many adults opt to have ear surgery to rectify life-long concerns and improve self-image.
About five percent of humans are born with prominent ears and although the size and shape vary between races, in Western culture surgeons generally believe the ‘optimum projection’ is about one and one half to two centimetres. Otoplasty is the operation to surgically repair over-prominent or ‘bat ears’.
At least 80 percent of the ears’ growth is completed by the age of six, and Otoplasty can be done at any time after this, but is most common before the age of ten. An Otoplasty operation involves reshaping of the ear and setting it back against the side of the head and the operation does not stop the healthy growth of the ear
It is important to note, that symmetrical ears are an unrealistic goal resulting from Otoplasty, as even naturally formed ears have their differences in position and shape
Although Otoplasty is performed on adults, candidates are most often children. Children with prominent ears are often subjected to teasing in primary school, and it’s the teasing by a child’s peers that will often prompt parents to request a correction. However, it is essential to ascertain if the child is aware of the abnormality and if they want it rectified. Co-operative children are usually willing to put up with the discomfort trade-off of the surgery for the happier outcome later on.
The reshaping of the folds of the ear requires a slight weakening of the ear cartilages. Dr. Hodgkinson will bend them with permanent stitches to give a gentle curve to define the junction between the rim of the ear and the bowl of the ear. The operation takes between one and two hours and is performed as an outpatient procedure at the Double Bay Day Surgery, and in the case of child aged patients, usually during the school holidays.
At home post surgery, a light compress and ice overnight is recommended to be applied to reduce swelling. A ski or sweatband can be worn postoperatively to prevent inadvertent traction or pulling on the ear repair as it heals. Bruising is slight and lasts about seven to ten days. It will be four to six weeks before healing is enough to withstand the rigors of sporting activities.
Things to consider prior to surgery
It is vital to be aware of and consider the following points before considering Otoplasty:
- You may only have one ear that protrudes, however in most cases surgery will be performed on both ears to help ensure that the most optimal balance possible is achieved
- Exact symmetry in the ears is unlikely, which is also the case with natural ears. Otoplasty does not mean that the position of the ears will perfectly match
- To optimise the results and recovery for any surgery, it is best if the patient is a non-smoker, or has recently quit smoking
Causes of protruding ears
Protruding ears are considered to be those which stick out more than 2 cm from the side of the head. It is, of course, somewhat subjective as everyone has a different idea about how they would like their ears to look, and which shapes are ideal or an issue and which are not.
The most common cause of protruding or prominent ears is an underdeveloped antihelical fold. When this fold does not form correctly, the outer rim of the ear, also known as the helix, will protrude or stick out. It is also common that people who have protruding ears will also have a deepen bowl-shaped space, known as the concha, which is the area outside the opening of the ear canal. This is the section that pushes the ear away from the head. Protruding ears do not cause any functional problems, and hearing is entirely unaffected by them, the issue is purely aesthetic, thought it can cause a loss of confidence, or many children can be teased, which are the main reasons why people consider the Otoplasty procedure.
Recovery After Otoplasty
In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance. Stitches are usually removed, or will dissolve, in about a week.
Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery. Children can go back to school after seven days or so, if they're careful about playground activity.
Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. Though no surgery can predict perfect symmetry (and no person is perfectly symmetrical), once you have discussed the procedure and your expectations with Dr. Darryl Hodgkinson before the operation, chances are that in his expert hands you'll be quite pleased with the result.
Will Otoplasty help your situation?
It is usually pretty clear when a situation calls for an Otoplasty procedure, but to be certain, a pre-operative examination and consultation is held to review your situation, medical and surgical history, while also performing a physical exam. The reason for this is to not only to discuss your situation and the new look that you are trying to achieve, but to also be completely certain that ear reshaping surgery will help you reach your visual goals.
If for some reason your situation calls for a different course of action, we will make this recommendation to you while explaining all of the details of Otoplasty surgery for making an informed decision. We want you to feel completely comfortable to ask any questions you may have of our medical staff to ensure that you are totally at ease with the proposed procedure and that we understand your goals.
Ensuring that our patients feel fully informed is our primary goal. Dr. Hodgkinson is known for the time and detail that he gives to each and every patient, and the relationships he forms is important for developing a personal trust, and is a crucial part of the process. Our team is well-trained in the highest levels of aftercare possible to ensure that your entire surgical process is a pleasant one. We take great pride in caring for our patients.
Ear Surgery with Dr. Hodgkinson and Team
As an expert in cosmetic plastic surgery, Dr. Darryl J. Hodgkinson has over thirty years of experience, and currently operates from the Double Bay Day Surgery. This fully licensed day surgery centre is where Dr. Hodgkinson performs a range of cosmetic and plastic surgical procedures in their state of the art surroundings.
Dr. Hodgkinson is internationally recognized as a leading plastic surgeon, having received his surgical training at the Mayo Clinic and holding two degrees in plastic surgery. Dr. Hodgkinson is also involved with the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) where he serves on the Scientific Committee.
The post-operative care offered to all patients by Dr. Hodgkinson and his team is second to none, and a large focus of the service. With highly skilled team of nursing staff who are on call 24 hours a day, you can feel comfortable knowing your journey through to recovery has our full support. There is even an option for our staff to stay with patients at home or close by, should you prefer that option.
Along with attentive care, achieving the best results for his patients is something that Dr. Hodgkinson places a significant importance on. By creating a relaxed and professional environment, we ensure that our patients are entirely comfortable and well informed about every aspect of their procedure and recovery process.
Our highly skilled staff, which includes intensive care anaesthetists, registered nurses, and surgical technicians are well trained in all aspects of medical aftercare, so the needs and expectations of our cosmetic and plastic surgical patients are fully met.
Other ear issues that can be rectified with surgery
Protruding ears are the most common issue we see in regards to cosmetic ear surgery requests; however, there are a range of other ear problems that surgery can help to rectify. This list includes;
- Lop ear - An issue that sees the tip of the ear fold down and forward
- Cupped ear - Which gives the ear a very small appearance
- Shell ear - This condition sees a curve in the outer rim of the ear with the natural folds and creases of the ear seemingly non-existent
- Large or stretched earlobes - Often caused by spacer earrings that have been removed or lobes with large naturally formed creases and wrinkles
- Old earlobes - often trimmed during a facelift
In more extreme cases, new ears can be surgically built for those who may have been born without them or suffered an injury that has caused loss or damage. It is essential, especially when looking to fix a visual issue that the scarring that may be created does not cause an issue similar to, or worse than, the original problem. During your consultation with Dr. Hodgkinson, all of this will be addressed to ensure the effectiveness of the surgery for the patient’s specific case.
If you are at all unsure about which path forward is best for your situation, or to achieve the visual goals you have in mind. Speak to our team and book a consultation with Dr. Hodgkinson today. We will work with you, offering our knowledge on all cosmetic procedures to help find the best path forward towards helping you feel comfortable with your body.
What Is A Good Age To Have My Child's Ears Pinned Back?
Bat ears or very protuberant ears usually cause parents concern when the child is attending pre-school or kindergarten. Unkind comments from other children may prompt parents to seek advice from a plastic surgeon. At least 80 per cent of the ears’ growth is complete by the age of six so the operation can be done any time after this.
The ears protrude because of their shape and their projection from the side of the head. Both issues must be dealt with individually in each patient. The procedure to “pin” the ears back is carried out under a general anaesthetic. During the teenage years the procedure can be done under sedation and local anaesthesia only.
Before and After Otoplasty, Ear Reshaping Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson
What Can I Do About My Ears Sticking Out?
The procedure is the same as if done when a child except it will be done under a light anaesthetic and sedation. Because an adult’s ears are stiffer than a child’s there may be more initial post-operative pain related to the increased tension on the internal stitches. But the result is the same—a flatter ear and a more attractive overall facial appearance. Some women have an otoplasty at 40 to 50 during their first facelift.
Before and After Ear Reshaping Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson
How is Otoplasty surgery performed?
Small incisions are made behind the ear in the natural crease, so they are not obvious. Excess skin is then removed with the cartilage sculpted in such a way that the size of the ears is reduced while creating a new positioning closer to the head. Sutures are then placed in the cartilage which keeps them secure in their new position, creating an ear fold that looks very natural.
This process takes around one to one and a half hours with the use of a general anaesthetic.
What will happen after the surgery?
You will be required to have a padded bandage around your head for roughly one week, which will help keep your ears in their new position while also protecting them while they heal. Following this time it is advised that a headband or stocking cap be worn whenever possible, but particularly at night for a further week after surgery.
Before and 3 months after Otoplasty
While Otoplasty is not considered to be a painful operation, you may experience some numbness following the procedure. After about one week you should be able to return to work (or school) and may experience some bruising or swelling which will begin to settle down after the first week or two. Along with the cosmetic benefits of Otoplasty, we see many patients who have a boost in confidence thanks to their new and improved look.
Are there any risks associated with Otoplasty?
As is the case with any surgery, there will be some degree of risk. The most important thing to remember is that Dr. Hodgkinson and his team are expertly trained and well experienced in ensuring that the risks associated with the various procedures are as low as possible which is why our patients have all experienced the best possible recoveries.
In regards to Otoplasty, some of the surgical risks can include;
- Adverse reactions to anaesthesia including an allergic reaction
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots that may create cardiovascular complications
- Temporary or permanent numbness
- Cartilage infection
- Haematoma auris, a fibrous overgrowth that can deform the ears
- Necrosis along the wound
The above risks are associated with most surgical procedures, not necessarily just Otoplasty, and have a very low chance of occurrence thanks to the skills and in-depth surgical processes of Dr. Hodgkinson and his team. If you have any further questions or concerns, we are on hand to give you all of the information you need to ensure you feel completely comfortable with your procedure.
What should I remember after my Otoplasty procedure?
You will be guided through your recovery by our team with all of the necessary elements explained to you; however, it will be useful to remember the following points;
- Follow all of the recovery instructions given by our team on how to best look after your wounds
- It is essential to ensure that you wear your bandages for one or two weeks, especially at night.
- The soreness and swelling you will likely experience for a few weeks after your procedure is normal and not cause for alarm
- Protect your ears and avoid any trauma in the area, this means no contact sports or any other activities that could put your ears at risk until you have received the all-clear from our team and Dr. Hodgkinson
- If you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, or any other unusual symptoms, it is crucial that you let us know straight away
Are there any alternatives to Otoplasty?
In regards to medical treatment alternatives, there are none that will achieve the results of Otoplasty, as it is the only procedure that can reposition or reshape the ears. As this procedure works to correct a visual aesthetic preference, many patients undergo it to boost their confidence in their appearance. Talking to a counsellor or psychologist may help to overcome you or your child’s concerns in regards to looks to avoid the procedure.