Ear Reshaping (Otoplassty)
Ear reshaping, also known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty, is a procedure to correct prominent or protruding ears. It can also be used to address asymmetry that may exist between the shape of the ears.
Prominent ears occur for a number of reasons. This may be poor formation of the natural folds or a rotation of the whole ear complex. Your surgeon will make a thorough assessment of the exact problem and provide you with a surgical plan to address the problem.
Often, surgical correction of prominent ears will require creation of a new fold. In other cases, sutures are used to set the ear back closer to the head.
A longitudinal split can develop in the earlobe, either where ear-rings have caught and become pulled or more slowly after the use of heavy ear-rings. In the latter case, there is often a slight softness in the tissue of the lobe which makes it more vulnerable to stretching. Surgery offers a more aesthetically pleasing ear, boosted confidence and occassionaly the ability to have your ears pierced again.
During the procedure, I will remove any skin lining the split to create a raw edge and will then stitch the ear back together. He will also place a small step in the scar to reduce the risk of scar contracture which could produce an unnnatural lifting of the lobe.
Surgery takes approximately 30 minutes per ear and can be performed under local anaesthetic.
Earlobe Reduction Surgery
Where patients believe that their earlobes are just too big and are out of proportion with their facial features, it is possible to perform earlobe reduction surgery.
In this procedure, an incision is made just behind the earlobe and excess skin is removed.
Prominent ear correction surgery generally takes 1-2 hours and can be performed either under local or general anaesthetic. It doesn’t usually require an overnight stay in hospital. If you are having a general anaesthetic then you will not be able to eat or drink for six hours before surgery.
- You shouldn’t need to stay in hospital for more than one night
- You should be able to return to school or work in less than a week
- You will wear a head bandage for one week.
- You will usually be able to return to full activity (including non-contact sports) in around two weeks.
- You will usually be able to drive again after a couple of days
Earlobe surgery is a much more minor procedure and you should be able to to return to work immediately. There will be stitches to be removed after one week.
Frequently asked questions
After the procedure, it is advised to abstain from contact sport eg Rugby & wrestling. As soon as the small stitch points have healed and the small threads on the back side of the ear have fallen off you may resume most sports. This happens after 2-3 weeks in the majority of cases.
After the procedure, you may bathe/shower from the neck down, without restriction. You may wash your hair again 2 days after the procedure. It doesn’t matter if the ears get a little wet or if you get shampoo on them as the stitch points will already have encrusted and dried up just a few hours after the procedure. Small crusts of blood that form immediately after the procedure should be left as a natural protective layer. These may then be softened with water and wiped off with a clean cloth 1 week after the procedure. If the blood crusts bother you, they can be removed a few days earlier. Straight after the operation, you can comb long hair over your ears, or if you have a short haircut, you can wear a headband over your ears, so that the crusts of blood are not visible.
You may have a sauna or visit a solarium 3-4 weeks after the procedure.
It cannot be avoided that the corrected ears will slightly swell after the procedure. The swelling is, however, not nearly as great as with the traditional methods. The swelling normally lasts for 3 days; from the 4th day onwards, it is significantly reduced and within 1 week after the operation, the swelling is normally gone. Only in exceptional cases does it remain after this time.
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