The decision to alter your appearance through surgery is a significant one and must be carefully considered. Prominent ears and the unkind remarks that people can make about them can be the cause of self-consciousness and distress.
In this article, we discuss the surgical procedure which addresses prominent ears, referred to as Otoplasty surgery, more commonly known as bat ear surgery and what you should know if you are considering surgery to improve the appearance of your ears.
Otoplasty surgery is not recommended for patients under the age of eight as patients over the age of eight are generally able to demonstrate the appropriate degree of maturity to comply with the aftercare process which optimises the healing process.
The aim of the consultation is to ascertain the patient’s expectations from surgery which may include the expectations of their parents as the surgery is commonly considered in childhood. In addition, the consultation aims to identify potential limitations to achieving those expectations such as the shape of the cartilage structure and other developmental abnormalities of the ear which may also need to be addressed. During the consultation with your surgeon you will be provided with information required to understand the potential risks of otoplasty surgery.
It is important that your surgeon is aware of previous surgery and history of scarring along with significant medical history including other developmental issues, a tendency for easy bruising and excessive bleeding, deep venous clots involving the legs, all prescription and non-prescription medication, allergies to anaesthetic agents, antibiotics and dressings, history of smoking and any other notable health issues. These issues are important as they have the potential to affect the surgery, anaesthesia, potential complications and recovery.
The procedure involves shaping the ear cartilage to optimise the contour and projection of the ears. Incisions are made at the back of the ear, extending from the top of the ear to above the earlobe. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic administered by Specialist Anaesthetists in an accredited hospital.
At the completion of the surgery, a head bandage is applied which is replaced with a head band one week after surgery and is worn day and night for a further week.
Following surgery, the sensation of the ears may be affected but will return to normal over a few months. In order to minimise post-operative bruising, elevation of the head should be maintained with pillows for 7 days. In general, swelling and bruising increase over the first three to five days and improve between five to ten days.
Return to school or work can be anticipated after two to three weeks. Physical activity such as walking for exercise can commence two weeks after surgery, progressing to running at six weeks and normal exercise including swimming at eight weeks. It is important to avoid ear trauma from being knocked or hit accidentally for six weeks after surgery.
The final result of otoplasty surgery may not appreciated for many months. The scars may be prominent for up to 18 months after surgery and can be unpredictable, being prone to problem scarring such as hypertrophic and keloid scar formation.
If you are considering otoplasty surgery and have questions you would like to ask, or if you would like to book a confidential consultation at a cost of $140, click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for the Melbourne practice or (07) 3180 3400 for the Brisbane practice. The Cosmetic Surgery Co-ordinators of NorthEast Plastic Surgery will organise a consultation with Mr Tansley or Dr Seneviratne who are highly qualified and experienced surgeons. They will assess your individual requirements and discuss your expectations in regard to the surgery.
NorthEast Plastic Surgery has been designed to offer a bespoke and unrivalled cosmetic plastic surgical service of superlative standard and quality. Dr Seneviratne and Mr Tansley share their Australian and British plastic and cosmetic surgery experience in these educational articles.