Otoplasty in London
Otoplasty is also known as pinnaplasty or ear pinning is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is designed to improve the appearance of large or excessively protruding ears. With otoplasty ear reshaping, the underlying cartilage and skin are surgical reshaped using minimally invasive techniques, which is used to modify the size and shape of the ears. Prominent ears can be a source of significant psychological morbidity with teasing or bullying in school or issues in the workplace. Centre for Surgery perform otoplasty on adults over 18 years of age.
Always check that your surgeon is on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery before proceeding with a consultation. All our surgeons are fully accredited plastic surgeons and only perform procedures in CQC regulated facilities. Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for the rhinoplasty procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face to face checks by our expert postoperative support team
Why choose Centre for Surgery for your otoplasty procedure?
- Over 15 years experience with all types of otoplasty – ear pinning, cartilage reshaping and revision otoplasty
- We regularly receive patients from overseas at our facial plastic surgery specialist centre
- Our surgeons are UK trained NHS consultant plastic surgeons who live and work in London. We don’t work with ‘fly-in, fly-out’ surgeons from Italy. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed otoplasty surgery takes time and should not be rushed. Our surgeons perform a maximum of two otoplasty procedures in a day. We do not cram 5-6 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform otoplasty surgery which is a very delicate procedure to get the very best results.
Centre for Surgery only work with the very best plastic surgeons to give all patients the access to world class medical expertise. You can be assured that whatever that issue with your ears, our surgeons have the skills and experience to treat you using gold standard otoplasty techniques.
Why choose our surgeons?
- Our plastic surgeons are on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery
- Full memberships of UK and European associations of plastic surgery
- Aesthetic fellowships in aesthetic plastic surgery
- A strong background in reconstructive surgery
- Dr Tillo, Dr Misra and Dr Erel are highly skilled plastic surgeons who specialise in aesthetic plastic surgery
Our surgeons are full members of:
Causes of protruding ears
- Traumatic injury to the ears
- Congenital abnormalities
- Heavily pronounced conchal depression
- Mastoid process enlargement which can affect one or both sides
Expected Results of Otoplasty surgery
The ears are a highly visible part of the face and the overall facial balance can be affected by ears which are overly large, abnormally shaped and/or malpositioned. Some abnormalities can develop as a result of traumatic injury.
- Improved symmetry and reduction in size of ears
- Correct the shape of ears
- Positioning the ears closed to the side of the head with reduction or elimination of outward protrusion
- A marked improvement in self-confidence and emotional well being with the choice to style hair in such a way to expose the ears
Ideal Candidates for otoplasty:
- An adult with a significant degree of ear protrusion
- Adults with large ears, ear asymmetry or abnormalities of shape
- Adults who have limitation in hairstyles due to unhappiness with ear size or shape
- Healthy adults with no medical co-morbidities
- Disappointing results from a previous otoplasty procedure
Otoplasty Surgical Techniques
Otoplasty, otherwise referred to as Pinnaplasty or ear pinning, is an effective way to surgically alter the appearance of your ears. Otoplasty will be able to alter protruding ears or those that have unfolded configuration. Otoplasty is considered to have one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any cosmetic surgical procedure.
At Centre for Surgery your otoplasty procedure will be performed in one of our own dedicated cosmetic surgery facilities. The procedure takes about two hours to perform and is typically done under local anaesthesia although it can be performed under a general anaesthetic if you prefer to be asleep.
Cartilage Moulding vs. Cartilage Breaking
In otoplasty, there are 2 recognised surgical techniques. The first is the cartilage moulding technique. In the moulding technique, there is no excision of cartilage and the method relies primarily on precise suture placement to facilitate the pinning of the ears closer to the side of the head. The cartilage breaking technique involves the surgical removal of cartilage to improve shape as well as to pin the ears back the the side of the head.
The most popular technique for cartilage preservation is the Mustarde method. This technique relies on suture placement alone which restores a normal looking anti-helical fold and has the advantage of being simple to perform. The mustarde method uses sutures placed in a horizontal mattress configuration along the full thickness of the cartilage at the back of the ear and also through the skin at the front of ear. This method only corrects the conchal bowl and other techniques will be required alongside this. The Mustarde method is used for abnormalities of the upper third of the ear.
The Furnas method is for addressing an excessively deep conchal bowl and a well defined anti-helical fold. The Furnas methid facilitates permanent retraction of the ear due to the surgical fixation to the mastoid fascial layer. The Furnas method can be combined with the Mustarde method which is great if the antihelical fold lacks prominence due to its underdevelopment
Cartilage Breaking Techniques
The cartilage breaking methods both involve the surgical removal of cartilage from the concha. There are 2 well recognised cartilage breaking methods:
With the Farrior method, there is a partial thickness excision along the rim of the conchal cartilage. The method produces a less pronounced correction to the antihelix.
The converse is a more aggressive method which is more suited to adults with more robust cartilage with a correspondingly more pronounced pinning back of the ear and simultaneous correction of the antihelix fold. This is an excisional technique with the removal of a strip of cartilage which sits more at the front compared with the rest of the ear cartilage.
What do our patients have to say about us?
The Centre for Surgery approach to aftercare
Our aftercare programme was recently described as ‘outstanding’ by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Our postoperative support team call all our patients the day after their procedure and then every other day thereafter for the first two weeks. The proactive nature of our postoperative support gives every patient the best opportunity for a smooth postoperative recovery free of complications. In many cases if complications were to occur, their impact is markedly lessened by early detection, prompt clinical assessment and correct treatment. Where a patient expresses concern to our team over the phone, then we often call patients in the same day for assessment with one of our expert nursing team. Even if there is no significant issue, the careful explanation and calm reassurance provided by our team can help to alleviate any worries you may have experienced.
Ideal candidates for Otoplasty
All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with otoplasty surgery.
We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.
Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking.
The otoplasty procedure is performed purely for cosmetic purposes, to help improve one’s body image and self-esteem. If you are concerned about the appearance of your ears to the point that you wear your hair to cover them, then you may be a good candidate for this procedure.
An otoplasty is performed as a day case procedure which means you be able to go home the same day once you have recovered from your procedure. The procedure takes about 2-3 hours to perform on average.
Anaesthetic options for otoplasty include both local anaesthetic and TIVA general anaesthetic. Most cases are comfortably performed with a local anaesthetic with or without oral sedation. In complex or revision cases or if you feel nervous at the thought of being awake then a general anaesthetic can be used.
Depending on the technique chosen, an otoplasty generally involves an incision being made behind the ears. This will be made in the natural folds, so noticeable scarring will be minimised. The skin will then be lifted, exposing the cartilage beneath. This cartilage is shaped and pulled back towards the head. Sutures are used to keep this in position.
After the procedure, you may notice a fine line behind the ears. However, this will be in the natural folds, so will not be very noticeable. This will fade over time.
Recovery after otoplasty
Following the procedure, you will have sutures placed behind your ears. These are delicate, and you will need to wear a band to ensure your ears stay in place. This band will need to be worn during the day as well as while you sleep.
To help the ears maintain their newly adjusted shape, your ears and head will be wrapped in a pressure garment. You will need to wear this garment at all times for about five to seven days. It is important that you do not alter the garment, nor get it wet. Wearing a wet or altered garment could result in infection, as well as other complications. It is best to avoid touching the garment.
You will be able to take medication which will help to alleviate any pain and discomfort you may experience. You will notice some swelling and bruising, but this is considered a normal side effect of otoplasty. To help reduce the side effects, you can:
- Keep your head elevated
- Avoid bending over
- Sleep with your head elevated on numerous pillows
- Do not sleep on your side or stomach
Risks and complications of otoplasty
Otoplasty is generally a very safe cosmetic surgery procedure and risks and complications are relatively rare. At Centre for Surgery, risks are minimised by meticulous patient selection and thorough preoperative preparation. Our surgeons are trained in all the best techniques for otoplasty and emphasise the importance of following postoperative instructions by the patient.
Our otoplasty experts regularly attend national and international conferences to keep up to date with the latest advances in otoplasty surgery. At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss the risks and potential complications in detail to enable you to make a fully informed decision about otoplasty surgery.
Potential risks of otoplasty
- Anaesthetic risks
- Delayed wound healing
- Hypertrophic scar
- Keloid scar
- Postoperative haemorrhage
- Surgical site infection
Otoplasty before and after
Otoplasty, correction of prominent ears:
There are a number of a factors which will impact on the final cost of your otoplasty procedure:
- Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
- Primary or revision otoplasty
- One or both ears
- Complex corrections
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to your procedure.
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing the right provider for your otoplasty procedure. You should have the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Spread the cost of your procedure
Centre for Surgery are fully approved to offer finance via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance.
You no longer need to use your savings to pay for your treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for your procedure.
Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment, apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments, using one of their payment options.
Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider who focus solely in the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
What is ear pinning surgery or pinnaplasty ?Pinnaplasty, also known as ear pinning is an ear surgery procedure involving the repositioning of the ears closer to the side of the head which creates a more natural looking appearance. A pinnaplasty or ear pinning surgery is a very straightforward surgical procedure and is easily performed under a local anaesthetic. The procedure takes about 90 minutes to perform on average. In the ear surgery procedure, the ears are surgically repositioned using a combination of suture techniques and excision to reshape the cartilage to the desired size and shape. The resulting scars after ear pinning are not obvious and often well concealed behind the ear or in the folds of the ear.
Am I an ideal candidate for otoplasty?Otoplasty are for those who have protruding ears that is impacting their self-esteem. You must be 18 years of age or older to have an otoplasty procedure at Centre for Surgery. You should be in good physical and mental health and with realistic expectations of what the procedure can achieve. You do not have any chronic ear infection which is untreated
What does ear reshaping surgery involve?Ear reshaping is easily carried out under a local anaesthetic and takes about 90 minutes to perform from start to finish. There are a number of different techniques and selection of the correct techniques depends
There are many different techniques depending on whether your ear is being reshaped, resized or repositioned.
If your surgeon is aiming to pin your ears back closer to your head, your surgeon will start by making an incision along the crease-line behind your ear and remove any excess cartilage that is causing it to protrude. The ear is then pinned back along the fold to its new position, closer to the head.
Following the surgery, the area will be stitched up and a dressing wrapped around your head to support the cartilage in its new place.
What happens before the otoplasty procedure?You will be required to stop certain medications which increase the risk of bleeding and you will also need to use a special antiseptic solution before surgery to minimise the risk of infection.
Is ear reshaping surgery painful ?Otoplasty surgery is easily carried out under a local anaesthetic. The area is numbed with local anaesthetic so you should not feel any discomfort during the procedure. After the procedure, most patients experience only a minor degree of pain and discomfort and is easily treated with a course of painkillers. The ears may be tender to touch for up to two weeks. The protective garment helps to cushion the ears against any impact. By two weeks post-op, you should be pain-free after pinnaplasty.
What happens during the otoplasty procedure?An incision is made behind the ear close to the area between the ear skin the skull. The skin is dissected off the ear to show the underlying ear cartilage, which is then re-contoured and pulled back towards the head using special stitches. A compression garment is applied, and patients can go home the same day.
How long does the otoplasty procedure take?The ear reshaping surgery takes about 90-120 minutes to perform, In more complex or revision cases, the procedure duration is around 2-3 hours.
What is otoplasty recovery like?Patients can return to work the next day, and restart normal activities in two weeks. The bandage is worn continuously for one week followed by night time only for three months.
What are the otoplasty risks?Risks for otoplasty include weakening and breakage of the sutures which can lead to recurrence of the original problem, bleeding, infection and abnormal scarring. Our surgeons take special precautions to minimise the risk of these complications and can perform revision surgery if required.
Will I have noticeable scars after otoplasty?There will be scarring from the stitches made during the procedure, however, it is usually made within the crease behind your ears significantly hiding the scars.
Are the results from ear reshaping surgery permanent?The results from otoplasty surgery are generally permanent in nature. It is important to protect your ears during the recovery period to prevent any unintended knocks.
After otoplasty, will I have to wear a garment or plaster on my head?The sutures that are used in otoplasty are very delicate, requiring you to wear a band that holds the ears in place for 5-7 days and should not be allowed to get wet.
Is there much discomfort after otoplasty?Pain from otoplasty is minimal, and is treated with paracetamol as required.
Will there be swelling and bruising?It is likely that there will be swelling and bruising but it is normal. Patients should keep their head elevated at all times to reduce the swelling and bending over should also be avoided for better healing.
Can I take a shower/bath after my surgery?You can take a shower below the neck but we recommend you to wait till the bandages can come off before you wash your hair.
What To Expect
After you have decided to learn more about otoplasty, we recommend a face to face consultation with one our expert otoplasty surgeons as a first step in your journey towards achieving a full aesthetic ear correction. When you meet with one of our surgeons, your surgeon will take time to listen carefully to what you hope to achieve and give you an expert opinion on what can and cannot be achieved after performing a thorough physical examination of the ears. Your surgeon may use computerised digital imaging to map the structure of the ears in detail to give you an idea of what your nose could look like after your procedure.
Your surgeon will also take a number of measurements as part of a detailed facial analysis. Finally high resolution photographs are taken in a number of views of the ears from different angles. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications of pinnaplasty and what to expect in the postoperative phase during your healing and recovery. It is important to know what medicines you taking as some medicines can interfere with blood clotting and may need to be stopped. Any history of medical conditions or previous surgery will also be recorded and all the compiled information is used to make a decision on your medical fitness for the otoplasty procedure. After a recommended two week cool off period and provided you are appropriate for the procedure, you can then make an informed decision on whether you would like to proceed with the procedure. If you are unsure on any aspect of the procedure and what it entails then we would invite you to return for as many follow-up consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure that pinnaplasty surgery is right for you. The consultation lasts about 45 minutes on average. It may take longer if your procedure is going to be more complex. We would actively recommend coming in for a follow-up consultation to ensure all your questions are answered.
Before the procedure
Once you have decided to move forward with ear pinning surgery. Our preoperative assessment team will be in touch to assess medical fitness prior to coming in on the day of surgery. There are a number of instructions to follow before your procedure including stopping any aspirin containing medicines as these can increase bleeding and ideally stopping smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of slower wound healing as well as more chance of wound complications. On the day of your procedure, you must follow the preoperative fasting guidance which includes no food for 6 hours prior. Only clear fluids (water) is allowed up to 2 hours before your procedure.
On the day of your procedure
When you arrive for your otoplasty procedure, you should aim to arrive on time to allow the admission process to proceed smoothly. One of our nurses will formally admit you and will check a number of items including making sure you have your postoperative medications. You will have your vital signs measured including blood pressure and heart rate. The anaesthetist will then meet you to perform a preoperative airway assessment. Finally your surgeon will consent you for the planned procedure followed by a detailed preoperative marking of the areas to be treated.
The otoplasty procedure takes about between 1-3 hours to perform and is easily performed under a local anaesthetic with or without oral sedation to make you feel relaxed. The option of TIVA general anaesthesia is also available if you prefer to be asleep for your procedure. The surgeon will first inject the ears with local anaesthetic to make the area fully numb. Incisions will then be made to expose the underlying cartilage for reshaping. The incisions can be located on the front or back of the ear depending on the degree of correction required. The surgeon will gently separate the cartilage from the ear skin. The cartilage is then shaped using precise suture techniques to position the ears closed to the side of your head. The surgeon can also correct ear asymmetry if this is a problem for you. The otoplasty technique used in your procedure is dependent on what is to be achieved from the otoplasty surgery. Once the cartilage has been reshaped, the new position is carefully secured with non-absorbable sutures. The incision is then closed with absorbable sutures. Following this, a securing pinnaplasty garment is applied to the head to protect the ears and maintain them in the new position. Any scarring from otoplasty is often well concealed behind the ear.
After the procedure is complete, you will spend time in our recovery suite where you will be prepared for nurse-led discharge once you have met all the discharge criteria. It is important to have a responsible adult to accompany you home and to look after you for the first 24 hours.
After your procedure
Once you are safely at home, you can be assured in having access to our specialist postoperative team round the clock. You will be given a contact number to contact your surgeon in the first 24 hours after surgery if there is any concern. An otoplasty procedure is associated with very little in the way of postoperative discomfort although some discomfort is common for the first week after surgery. Bruising should start to subside after 7-10 days. You should avoid intense sunlight after the procedure to reduce the risk of pigmentary changes.
Our postoperative team will look to call everyday for the first 2 weeks after your procedure. This is so we can monitor your levels of comfort and can alert your surgeon if there is any concern. Our proactive approach allows the detection of any potential issues early which results in more effective treatment. You are advised to rest for at least a few days after your ear pinning procedure which will also help with pain control. Heavy exercise should be avoided for at least the first 4 weeks. Our postoperative clinical team will assess you face to face at your 1 week postoperative appointment to ensure healing is progressing normally and the wounds site are healthy. Your head garment is usually removed at one or two weeks post-op which includes a wound check at this time to make sure the wound is healing normally. You will be booked for your surgeon follow-up appointment for 6 weeks after your procedure.