WHAT IS EAR CORRECTION SURGERY?
Ear Correction Surgery is a specialist aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery procedure performed to overcome the adverse appearance of over sized, protruding or irregular shaped ears. This procedure can be performed on just one ear (a unilateral correction) or on both (A bilateral correction).
The technical description for Ear Correction Surgery is Pinnaplasty or Otoplasty.
The ultimate objective of performing corrective surgery of this kind is to create a natural, proportionate and symmetrical appearance to one or both ears without leaving any obvious visible sign that surgery has taken place.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM EAR CORRECTION SURGERY?
- Children and adolescents, who are self conscious about their protruding ears
- Men and women, who feel restricted in their choice of haircut, in order to hide their protruding ears
- Men who find it more difficult to hide their protruding ears as their hair thins with age
HOW IS EAR CORRECTION PERFORMED?
There are two separate types of procedures used to treat the following conditions:
- Protruding Ears: this surgery is carried out by refining, thinning and emphasizing the angle of the cartilaginous structure behind the ear. To do this a surgical incision is made behind the ear in the natural crease where the ear margin joins the side of the head. Consequently, scars from this particular procedure are not easily visible.
- Large or Irregular Ear Lobes or Rim: with this procedure irregularities to ear rim cartilage or ear lobes will be surgically reduced and re-tailored and sutured in place (stitched). Although these sutures will result in some external scaring these are usually insignificant in size and tend to blend in with the natural contour around the ear rim and lobe once healing is complete.
Following surgery it is usual to secure the newly operated ear shape with a carefully applied, turban style pressure bandage. This pressure bandage will reduce swelling and discomfort and typically stays in place for around 5 - 7 days following surgery.
Ear Correction is most frequently performed as a day case under local anesthetic (you will be awake), although it can be offered under general anesthetic (you will be asleep), which will require a one night's stay in hospital. Under normal conditions a typical ear correction procedure can take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to perform, dependant on the level of surgical complexity.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
Following Ear Correction Surgery incision areas are often quite tender for several weeks. Analgesic tablets (pain killers) are always provided for any discomfort and patients are encouraged to stay as upright as possible during their early recovery stage. However, much of the post-operative discomfort tends to diminish rapidly after the head bandage and any sutures are removed. Following the removal of the head bandaging, patients are advised to gently shower and wash their hair on a daily basis and to keep their healing wounds as clean as possible.
In the early days following discharge, patients are strongly advised to avoid any level of activity that will put undue strain on the newly operated areas, to keep their hands away from their surgical wounds and to pay meticulous attention to their personal hygiene. Sutures are typically removed after 5 - 7 days or left to dissolve of their own accord.
Patients will also be advised to take a specific amount of recovery time away from work, dependent on the type of work they perform, but it is usual to take a week off to rest and recover at home.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH EAR CORRECTION SURGERY?
Risks such as bleeding, infection, delayed healing, alteration in sensitivity and scarring will all be discussed openly at consultation, as well as our scrupulous efforts to manage and minimise these risks to their lowest possible potential.
Due to the additional healing and infection risks experienced with patients who smoke, smokers may be precluded from having Ear Correction Surgery until they cease or substantially reduce their daily cigarette intake.
Although Ear Correction Surgery is regularly performed without any complications, it is very important that all candidates are fully aware of both the benefits and risks of undertaking this type of specialist aesthetic surgery.
All surgery, no mater how expertly or carefully it is performed, carries risks and the importance of a full evaluation and consultation to discuss your understanding and expectations in relation to these risks cannot be over emphasised.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR EAR CORRECTION SURGERY?
At Spire Methley Park Hospital our surgeons will carry out a full evaluation of your individual needs and circumstances and provide you with a comprehensive verbal and written explanation of any recommended treatment or surgery.
Our Expert Consultant Plastic Surgeons understand the importance of the decision you are making when contemplating Ear Correction Surgery. Throughout your consultation you will be encouraged to ask as many questions as you wish and to take your time in making a decision to proceed with any treatment.