Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty/Ear Pinning) - Cosmetic Surgery London & UK



Ear Correction for cosmetic reasons, medically known as Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty, is a very quick and simple operation that reduces the size or angle of the ear and can also manipulate the ears’ shape.  Ear pinning is sometimes considered in childhood, and normally this would be required if your ears appear to be sticking out or if you have an inherited problem that can cause the shape of the ear to be rather distressing.  For example sometimes the ear can appear closed due to the top piece of cartilage not developing properly or due to the ears being pointed at the top.  Most of the time otoplasty is performed on children between the ages of six and fourteen, although some adults also require the surgery if they are experiencing problems or weren’t offered the surgery at a younger age. 

Am I Suitable for Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty)?

Otoplasty is most suitable for someone who has a problem with the size, shape or angle of their ears.  Most often the surgery is performed on children over the age of five, before this age the ears might not be fully developed and so any surgery might be counter productive.  It would be best if you are in full health and a non smoker, although any health problems can be discussed and usually overcome with your surgeon.  You need to be realistic about the outcome of ear correction surgery, otherwise the results you get might not satisfy your expectations.  Your surgeon will discuss this with you before the surgery and normally quite drastic results are possible.   

Funding for Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty)

If you have an inherited ear shape, your ears have been affected due to trauma or health problems, or your ears are causing you physical or emotional pain then it might be possible for you to get funding for ear correction surgery on the NHS.  You will need to be assessed by your GP and a surgeon in order for this to happen, and both need to agree that it would be in your best interests.  Normally, however, it is seen as merely a cosmetic procedure, and as such you will have to pay for it yourself.  In the UK otoplasty costs between £1000 and £2500, depending on how much work will need to be done and which surgeon performs the operation.  There are cheaper prices abroad, however you will also need to take traveling costs into account when looking into this.  There are various loan companies that might grant you a loan for ear surgery if you cannot foot the bill yourself.  It is worth looking into interest rates and the reputation of such companies before you decide upon this course of action. 

Surgeons’ Requirements for Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty)

Ear surgery, like all cosmetic surgery, ought to be performed by a certified cosmetic surgeon.  It is important that you check out the credentials of any surgeon that you might be considering with regards to your ear correction surgery.  The General Medical Council as well as your local GP can give you advice on how to do this, but generally speaking as long as your surgeon is FRSC (plast) or BAPRAS affiliated then they will have had the relevant training.  Abroad these qualifications will be different, with each country having its own standards and associations.  If you are considering having the surgery abroad then it is up to you to find out your surgeons qualifications and whether they are properly trained to perform cosmetic surgery.  Unfortunately there have been some distressing stories where this was not the case. 

What happens in Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty)

As a patient for ear correction surgery, you are likely to be treated as an outpatient, going home once the surgery is finished.  The actual surgery is very quick, with adults only being placed under local anaesthetic.  Children are most commonly put under a general anaesthetic to reduce the amount of stress that they are put under.  This also ensures that they will keep still throughout the surgery.  The cartilage is usually reduced and reshaped, and the skin behind the ear pulled back so that the ear sits flatter against your skull.  Often permanent sutures will be used to place the ears where you want them to stay.  The ears will then be bound flat, so that they heal in the correct position.  You will have to wear a band across your ears all the time for at least a week, followed by wearing some form of band at night for anything up to six weeks.  The scarring is very slight, and hidden from view behind your ears so that no one need know you have ever had ear correction surgery.

Is Ear Correction Surgery (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty) Safe?

As with all types of surgery there is some risk to pinnaplasty/otoplasty.  Your surgeon will make these all clear to you in your consultations, and explain how you can best avoid any unnecessary problems from arising.  Often adults don’t need to have a general anaesthetic, so seriously reducing any potential risk above other types of surgery.  Although everything will be done to make your surgery as safe as possible, there is still a chance that something might go wrong.  For example you might develop small blood clots around where the incisions were made.  These might disperse naturally or might need more surgery to remove them.  Infections are a risk of any surgery, and although potentially very dangerous, can be treated effectively with antibiotics if you act quickly. 

There is a very small chance that the surgery might not be successful and that your ears are slightly lop-sided or askew.  This is likely to need more surgery to alter and might cause some distress.  Overall ear correction surgery has only a very small chance of something going wrong, and minimal side effects. 

Alternatives to Ear Correction by Cosmetic Surgery

There aren’t really any viable options as alternatives to ear surgery.  Due to the nature of the ear, surgery is the only way to produce long-term effects, with adhesives only really being good for short term or temporary fixes.  Adhesives can also cause problems such as skin irritations and, if you use them to excess, can damage the chances of you being able to have otoplasty. Ear correction surgery is the only real viable option for a life long solution for ear correction. 

Pinnaplasty is a quick, low-risk procedure with good long lasting effects.  Although most common in children, adults can also undertake the procedure and enjoy the results, after a recovery of, on average, about a month.  It isn’t too expensive, and depending upon your circumstances might be available on the NHS. 

The effects of ear correction surgery aren’t just physical.  Yes, your ears will be more aligned with your skull, smaller, or at a lesser angle, but also you will gain confidence.  For example you need not worry about which haircut covers your ears. 


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Ear Correction Surgery in London

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Surgicare
592 Finchley Road
London
NW11 7RX
Tel: 08000 461000

BMI Garden Hospital
46/50 Sunny Gardens Road
Hendon
London
NW4 1RP
Tel: 020 8457 4500

Transform Cosmetic Surgery
Cavendish House
55 New Cavendish Street
London
W1G 9TF
Tel: 0800 655 6406

The Private Clinic Harley Street
98 Harley Street
London
W1G 7HZ
Tel: 0800 599 9911

The Private Clinic London
Hans Place Practice
43 Hans Place
Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 0JZ
Tel: 0800 599 9911

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