The main aim of Otoplasty surgery is to improve the projection of prominent ears commonly known as “bat ears” or to reduce the shape and size of ears to make them more natural and aesthetically appealing.
What you need to know About Ear Surgery
The usual angle for an ear is approximately 15 degrees from the mastoid region of the scalp. Patients with prominent ears stand out at a greater angle from the scalp and may also warp into a “C” shape; there is also a condition called Lop ear deformity which will produce a similar prominent ear.
Children and adults will wear hats or have long hair to hide their prominent ears and children in particular will be teased about their ears. Prominent ears can be treated in neonatal life by taping or the infant wearing a headband or cap. However, ears attain 80% of their structure by the age of four years and many children will have their ears operated on after this age.
A general history and examination is performed and hearing deficiencies is noted as well as previous ear, facial or scalp surgery. The size, shape and abnormalities of the cartilage of the ear as well as asymmetry are identified. Otoplasty surgery aims to improve these abnormalities; a perfect result is often not possible.
Otoplasty surgery can be performed under general or sedation anaesthesia for adults. Incisions are behind the ear, cartilage of the ear is remodelled or a segment may need to be removed. There are several techniques when performing ear surgery, the technique specific to your ear abnormality will have been discussed with you at your consultation. The incisions will be closed by absorbable sutures and no sutures will need to be removed.
Patients will have a bandage around their head and for women a head band can be worn, and males a bandana is a better option following removal of the bandage and dressings. These are worn for at least six to eight weeks in particular at night to help reset the ear into a normal position. There is likely to be some swelling, discomfort and slight discharge from the incision site. These symptoms will settle with time, patients are placed on antibiotics, anti Inflammatory and pain relief medication.