should I be considering ear surgery?
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back
closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears.
For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages
of four and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age four, and the
earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have
Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no
additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
there any risks?
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. When ear surgery is
performed by our qualified and experienced surgeon, complications are
infrequent and usually minor.
Nevertheless, as with any operation, there are risks associated with
surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
A small percentage of patients may develop a blood clot on the ear. It
may dissolve naturally or can be drawn out with a needle.
Occasionally, patients develop an infection in the cartilage, which can
cause scar tissue to form. Such infections are usually treated with
antibiotics; rarely, surgery may be required to drain the infected area.
should I consider when planning for my surgery?
Most surgeons recommend that parents stay alert to their child's
feelings about protruding ears, do not insist on the surgery until your
child wants the change.
Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the surgery
are generally more co-operative during the process and happier with the
In the initial meeting, our surgeon will evaluate your child's
condition, or yours if you are considering surgery for yourself, and
recommend the most effective technique. Our surgeon will also give you
specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery.
||What types of anaesthesia
will be used?
If your child is young, our surgeon may recommend general anaesthesia,
so the child will sleep through the operation.
For older children or adults, our surgeon may prefer to use local
anaesthesia, combined with a sedative, so you or your child will be
awake but relaxed.
||What happens in the ears pinned back surgery?
Ear surgery usually takes about two to three hours, although
complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on
With one of the more common techniques, our surgeon makes a small
incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. He will
then sculpt the cartilage and bend it back toward the head.
Non-removable stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape.
Occasionally, our surgeon will remove a larger piece of cartilage to
provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.
Another technique involves a similar incision in the back of the ear.
Skin is removed and stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on
itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage.
In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the
ear that will fade with time.
Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually
performed on both ears for a better balance.
||How long before I get back
to feeling normal?
Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of
surgery, although you may prefer to stay overnight in the hospital with
a child until all the effects of general anaesthesia wear off. The
patient's head will be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following
surgery to promote the best molding and healing. The ears may throb or
ache a little for a few days, but this can be relieved by medication.
Within a few days, the bulky bandages will be replaced by a lighter
head dressing similar to a headband. Be sure to follow your surgeon's
directions for wearing this dressing, especially at night. Stitches are
usually removed, or will dissolve, in about a week.
Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a
month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after
surgery. Children can go back to school after seven days or so, if
they are careful about playground activity. You may want to ask your
child's teacher to keep an eye on the child for a few weeks
Besides protruding ears, there are a variety of other ear problems that
can be helped with surgery. These include: "lop ear," when the tip
seems to fold down and forward; "cupped ear," which is usually a very
small ear; and "shell ear," when the curve in the outer rim, as well as
the natural folds and creases, are missing.
Surgery can also improve large or stretched earlobes, or lobes with
large creases and wrinkles. Surgeons can even build new ears for those
who were born without them or who lost them through injury.
Sometimes, however, the correction can leave a scar that is worse than
the original problem. Ask your surgeon about the effectiveness of
surgery for your specific case.
||When will I have more
natural looking ears?
Most patients, young and old alike,
are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. But keep in mind, the
goal is improvement, not perfection. Do not expect both ears to match
perfectly, perfect symmetry is both unlikely and unnatural in ears. If
you have discussed the procedure and your expectations with our surgeon
before the operation, chances are, you will be quite pleased with the
||How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?
The Surgeon's fee is $ 4,400.
Additional fees that would apply would be that of theatre/minor operating facility fee and anaesthetic fee. ( If procedure is performed under General Anaesthetic). Estimate duration of surgery is determined at your consultation.
Medicare rebate and Private Health Fund rebate may apply.
The Esteem Cosmetic Studio website provides general information about cosmetic surgery.General information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment, and should not be accepted in place or in preference to a consultation with a surgeon.