Ear Pinning Surgery in Sydney
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why 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 to endure.
Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.
2. Are 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.
Infection of the skin and cartilage is one of the most common otoplasty complications. It also poses the greatest threat to the success of the procedure. Should an infection develop after cosmetic ear surgery, it is generally relieved with an antibiotic medication. If the infection results in the formation of scar tissue, a very rare complication, then it may be necessary to address the area surgically.
– Blood Clots
The formation of a blood clot in the ear is another possible risk of cosmetic ear surgery. A very infrequent complication, blood clots can be removed with a needle or may simply dissolve naturally. If the patient experiences prolonged swelling and bleeding, then the surgeon should be contacted immediately to ensure that the ear is healing properly.
When cosmetic or reconstructive ear surgery is performed there is potential risk of overcorrection of the ears. Otoplasty overcorrection complications include:
- Placing the ears too close to the head
- Contour distortions
- Inadequate correction
- Asymmetric correction
The risk of overcorrection can be greatly reduced by choosing a surgeon with extensive training and proven results.
– Loosening of Sutures and Reoccurrence of Ears Popping out
A risk commonly faced by patients that have undergone otoplasty is the loosening of sutures. Often a result of boisterous activity or inattention to bandaging, loosened or popped sutures may cause the ear to return to its original shape or position.
Another risk to acknowledge is the risk of re-occurrence in general. This risks sits at 30%, if this occurs, secondary surgery is required.
– Hearing Loss
Many ear surgery patients wonder whether there is a risk of hearing loss associated with otoplasty. Complications of this kind are extremely rare, and are almost never seen. Distortion of the auditory canal, through major changes of the concha, can cause alterations in hearing. However, a highly skilled plastic surgeon is able to evaluate the possibility of such a risk and take the necessary steps to avoid any hearing damage
3. What 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 outcome.
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.
4. What types of anaesthesia will be used?
More often than not, surgery will be performed under general anaesthesia at an accredited hospital.
5. What happens in the ears pinned back surgery?
Otoplasty surgery usually takes about two to three hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique will depend on the problem.
With one of the more common techniques, your surgeon will make a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. You surgeon 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, your 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 result.
8. How much does otoplasty cost?
Fee above includes hospital theatre and bed fees, anaesthetist fee, surgeon’s fee and post operative appointments for the first year.
Please keep in mind not all patients are alike and some will require a slightly different operation than others. Rest assured, you will receive a specific price quotation during your consultation visit. Our staff are always happy to discuss these matters with you in more detail.
Cost of Consultation : $250.00
The cost of the consultation fee (face to face, Skype or FaceTime) is payable at the time of the booking. This amount is a non-refundable/transferable amount in an event of a no show, cancellation, rescheduling, change of mind etc etc. You are essentially paying for the time we are exclusively reserving for you.
Please do not book an appointment if you are unsure of your availability. The consultation date and time is exclusively booked for you.
What should be my next step if I am interested to pursue this option?
Your first step is to see your Gp and organise to get a referral to see our plastic surgeon. Once you have received your letter of referral, kindly call the clinic on 1300 378 336 and schedule an appointment for a consultation with our plastic surgeon.
9. Is there patient financing?
Patient financing is completely independent from the clinic. For patients wanting affordable payment plans please apply directly with Total Lifestyle Credit. This facility is subject to approval. Our advice to all patients is to be financially responsible when undertaking finance for elective surgical procedures.