Otoplasty is surgery to the external ear designed to improve the shape and position of the ear, as well as aid facial symmetry and harmony.
Dr Scott Turner MBBS(Hon), BSc, MS, FRACS(Plast)
Otoplasty or ear pinning is one of the few cosmetic procedures performed in children, usually around pre-school or six years of age, when the ear cartilage is stable enough to be manipulated. The decision to proceed with any procedure is often difficult, especially when it involves your child. Is the surgery really necessary? For those undergoing otoplasty the effects on self-confidence and psychosocial development should not be understated and the results are often life changing. It can of course also be performed in older children or adults. The good news is the otoplasty procedure has high satisfaction rates with minimal complications. It provide great psychological benefits to anyone who has been teased about the size or shape of their ears, has had a serious ear injury, or simply wants to improve their appearance.
Otoplasty typically serves two functions: setting prominent ears back closer to the head, and reducing the size of large ears. Ear surgery may also be helpful for the following conditions:
• Large or protruding ears (bat ears)
• Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)
• Cupped ear (a small ear)
• Large, stretched, or torn earlobes
|Length of surgery:||2-3 hours|
|Recovery:||Most patients are back to work or school in approximately 7 days when swelling and bruising resolves. We advise our patients to avoid strenuous activity for 1 month, during this time they need to wear a headband.|
|Results:||Final results are seen within 6 months, and the duration of those results vary from one person to another.|
What can a Otoplasty do for me?
Prominent ears or ‘bat ears’, cause concern for both parents and children and are often the cause of schoolyard bullying. The ears are almost fully grown by age four, but its best to wait until children are around six years of age to perform otoplasty surgery. At this age they are older enough to participate in their recovery after surgery but still young enough to minimise the psychological effects of being teased in school.
Am I suitable?
Children above the age of five years are suitable for surgical correction of this problem and adults at any age can have a correction of their ears performed.
Typical candidates have ears that are too prominent or asymmetrical, and feels self-conscious about their ears and wants to improve their appearance. It is also important that you are in good general health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Discuss your goals of otoplasty with Dr Turner so that you can achieve the results you desire.
Your Otoplasty Consultation
Dr Turner’s consultation approach is to be both personal and professional with a high emphasis placed on understanding a patient’s hopes and goals for the treatment. After a thorough medical history, Dr Turner will examine you to assess if you are a good surgical candidate.
Dr Turner will perform a thorough examination of the ears, including the skin and underlying cartilage. Routine pre-op photographs are taken during the visit and we always strive to keep the meeting relaxed but fully informative.
In the case of younger children, special attention is paid to not alarming the potential patient while answering all of Mum or Dad’s questions or concerns.