Ear correction surgery, also known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty, is an operation to correct prominent or protruding ears. People whose ears stick out do not suffer physical side effects but may feel self-conscious and embarrassed. Ears reach full size relatively early in development, at about
5 to 6 years old, and can therefore be particularly noticeable in children. However, the operation is not recommended for children under 5 years old.
Ear correction surgery can reduce the size of the ear or reshape the cartilage in order to pin the ear back closer to the head.
What does the operation involve?
Ear correction surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1 hour. During the operation a small incision is made behind the ear, through which the cartilage can then be reshaped. Some cartilage may also be removed. During some procedures skin is removed and the cartilage is folded back on itself. Stitches may be used to hold the new
shape in position and to close up the incision.
What to expect post surgery?
Specialist post–op care:
> The pressure garment needs to be worn day and night until the dressing clinic (at about 1 week).
> TED stockings to be worn for 2 weeks.
> Sleep with head slightly elevated on a few pillows for the first week and avoid bending head down.
> Moisturise scar for 3 months.
> Head band to be worn around the ears at night for 1 month.
Please click here for more general post-operation care.
What are the risks?
Common side effects:
> Soreness, swelling, bruising and numbness around the ears can last for several weeks.
Uncommon but potential complications:
As with any operation problems may arise with an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, blood clots or infection. Complications can occur during or after the procedure.
Risks specifically related to nose ear correction surgery include:
> Haematoma : if bleeding occurs under the skin further surgery may be required.
> The ears may not look symmetrical after surgery and there is a small risk that the ears will not maintain their position properly requiring further adjustment surgery.