Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that changes the angle and shape of protruding or uneven ears in children and adults. Ear surgery reshapes part of the cartilage in the ears, allowing them to lie closer to the side of the head. For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of four and fourteen, however it can also be performed very effectively in teenagers and adults.
Will I need Anaesthesia
Children who undergo ear surgery usually receive general anaesthesia. Adults often receive local anaesthesia and conscious sedation. Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but does have some risks. Ask your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and anaesthetist for more information. Your surgeon and/or anaesthetist will ask you about all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have. Make sure you have an up to date list before the surgery.
Will I have scarring?
Scars are an inevitable part of any invasive surgery. Your Surgeon will endeavour to minimise scarring and to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible by locating the incisions in easily hidden sites. If you are prone to scarring, you should advise your surgeon.
What do I need to do after surgery?
After surgery, a bulky bandage will cover your ears. The bandage will remain in place for around seven days. The ear may be bruised, swollen and tender once the bandages are removed. Unevenness of the ears is also common in the first days after surgery. This will usually resolve over time and the final contour will become evident after several weeks. You may experience pain, swelling and discomfort for the first few days after surgery. Paracetamol is usually sufficient in relieving pain. Your surgeon may advise that you wear an elastic headband at night to protect the shape of the ears for several weeks. Sleeping with the head elevated on two pillows may reduce swelling. Avoid activities that may bend or hurt the ears, such as contact sports. Do not wear earrings. Adults can return to work after removal of their bandages. Children can go back to school after seven days, but must be careful in the playground.
How soon can my child have ear surgery?
Children as young as five can undergo ear surgery. Your Surgeon will consider the relevant physical and psychological factors, and will consult with both you and your child to determine whether they are a suitable candidate for Ear Surgery. Children who are good candidates for Ear Surgery are:
Possible Risks and Complications
The risks associated with having an ear correction procedure are quite rare. However as with all surgery, complications can still sometimes occur.
The best way to reduce risk is to find a fully qualified surgeon with formal training who has performed otoplasty surgery.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the full list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.
Specific complications that may occur after ear correction surgery:
Things to remember