Whether you were born with large, small, bat-like, wing-like or misshapen ears, there’s not a whole lot you can do to hide them if you are self-conscious about them. A hat may help to hide prominent ears in some situations, however it’s not always appropriate to wear a hat!
In this article, we talk about a surgical procedure to address prominent ears, referred to as Otoplasty, or more commonly known as bat ear surgery.
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.
The decision to undergo otoplasty surgery is significant and adjustment to change in appearance needs be considered in addition to the process of post-operative recovery.
The aim of a consultation is to ascertain the patient’s, including in some cases parents’, expectations as the surgery is commonly considered in childhood. It aims to identify potential limitations to achieving those expectations such as the shape of the cartilage structure and developmental abnormalities of the ear which may also need to be addressed.
Otoplasty surgery is best considered and performed in patients who are over the age of eight and are able to demonstrate the appropriate degree of maturity to comply with the aftercare process. A further significant aim of consultation is to facilitate understanding of the potential risks of otoplasty surgery. The Surgeon will discuss these issues with you during the consultation.
It is important that the 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 cost of an initial consultation with a Surgeon to discuss your procedure is $140. A portion of this cost may be claimed from Medicare if you have a referral from your GP. During your consultation with a Surgeon of NorthEast Plastic Surgery - Mr Patrick Tansley or Dr Sugitha Seneviratne, you will be given a personalised quote for your surgery.
If you are considering otoplasty surgery and have questions you would like to ask, or if you would like to book a confidential consultation with one of our highly qualified, experienced surgeons to see what can be achieved for your individual needs, simply click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for Melbourne or (07) 3180 3400 for Brisbane.
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.