Mr Omar Tillo
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
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.
Surgery can be performed under a local anaesthetic, however, it can be under a short general anaesthetic if you would prefer not to be awake. During this procedure, the position of your ears will be reset so it is closer to the side of your head. To achieve this, you will either have cartilage from the back of the ear removed, or the shape of the ears will be adjusted.
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.
Prior to any surgery, you will have a consultation with a surgeon, who will assess your suitability for the procedure.
An otoplasty is performed under a local anaesthetic, so you will be awake during the procedure. It 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.
This procedure should take between one to two hours. Otoplasty is considered a day procedure, so you will be able to return home once the effects of the local anaesthetic have worn off.
After the surgery, you will 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.
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:
Otoplasty are for those who have protruding ears that is impacting their self-esteem. However, we do not treat anyone under 18 years old.
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.
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.
About 3 hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pain from otoplasty is minimal, and is treated with paracetamol as required.
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.
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.