An ear surgery (also known as an otoplasty) is cosmetic surgery aimed at changing the shape, size or angle of your ears. In most cases, this surgery involves pinning back protruding ears to deliver a more pleasing look.
The cost of an otoplasty depends on the procedure you need to undergo and if you are having surgery performed on one or two ears. The location where you choose to have treatment will also factor into your final price.
An otoplasty involves a range of different techniques to replace, reconstruct or correct deformed ears or parts of the ear. In most cases, the procedure involves remodelling the cartilage in the ear to move the ear closer to the head or create missing folds.
Here’s the breakdown of an otoplasty procedure:
The first step is having a consultation with the surgeon. You will be taken through the procedure step by step. You will also be asked a series of questions about your medical history, including questions about allergies and underlying health issues. This is your chance to ask questions about preparing for the procedure and how to manage your pain and recovery afterwards.
Most patients undergo otoplasty procedures under local anaesthetic. However, young children or those with certain underlying conditions might be advised to have a general anaesthetic. This will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.
3. The otoplasty procedure
Either a plastic surgeon or an ear, nose and throat surgeon will start the otoplasty by making a small cut behind the ear in order to expose the cartilage. Depending on the nature of the issue being corrected, the removal of cartilage fragments may be necessary. Some procedures also include the manipulation, scoring and stitching of remaining cartilage to achieve the desired shape or angle.
There are three main types of otoplasty - which of them you're offered depends on the scale of your cosmetic issue, the surgeon you choose and any underlying health issues you may have.
An ear augmentation will probably be offered if the pinna (outer ear) hasn't developed properly. The most common type of otoplasty is the otopexy. This common and relatively safe procedure involves pinning back protruding ears and leaving them much closer to the head.
Otoplasty techniques can also be used to perform ear reductions, when the pinna is so big it causes self-esteem issues for the patient. The development of unusually large ears is called macrotia.
Most surgeons will need to make at least one incision behind the ear to manipulate the cartilage. However, newer techniques involve scoring cartilage through the skin - making incisions unnecessary.
Your anaesthesia and pain-relief options will be explained to you during your initial consultation. While you might be advised to avoid a general anaesthetic, there may be the option of combining intravenous sedation with a series of local anaesthetic injections.
The surgeon will need to make a reasonably large incision behind your ear, so there will be pain, bruising and swelling to contend with. There will also be a scar afterwards, but it should fade over time - becoming almost invisible after a few months.
Any surgical procedure can lead to fear and anxiety, so don't be afraid to discuss your emotions with either your clinicians, your family, or us at Qunomedical.