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.
All our plastic surgeons are on the GMC specialist register.
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. Mr Mitsakos performs 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 intensive procedure to get the very best results.
Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
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
- Improved symmetry and reduction in size 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 with the choice to style hair in such a way to expose the ears
Ideal Candidates for otoplasty:
- An adult with siginificant 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 comorbidities
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?
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 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
Left sided symmetrising otoplasty:
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 your provider. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instilling in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Am I an ideal candidate for otoplasty?Otoplasty are for those who have protruding ears that is impacting their self-esteem. However, we do not treat anyone under 18 years old.
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.
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?About 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.
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
Find the right time
Our friendly and knowledgeable patient coordinators will speak with you to learn about your requirements, it’s all confidential and your information will be used to assess whether otoplasty is right for you. If the procedure is right for you, we’ll organise a convenient date and time for you to visit to come and visit our patient relationship manager at our bespoke central London clinic at 106 Crawford Street.
At the surgical consultation, you will meet directly with the plastic surgeon. The surgeon will thoroughly assess you to determine your suitability and advise of the best options for you. Your surgeon will then explain how the procedure will work including our innovative ClearSleep™ anaesthesia technique for those who chose to be asleep for their procedure. You will receive your personalised quote the next working day from your patient coordinator.