Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty) Surgery Procedure

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The entire operation time for Otoplasty is normally 45mins to an hour, depending on how much work needs to be done to the ears.  In this time you may be placed under a general or local anaesthetic and the cartilage will be manipulated so that your ears are less prominent.  You are most likely to be treated as an outpatient, being allowed to return home after the surgery as opposed to staying in the clinic overnight. 

Aneasthetic used in Ear Correction

Ear surgery can be done using either with you completely asleep or just with a local anaesthetic.  A local aneasthetic ensures less risk throughout the surgery than otherwise.  Generally children will be placed under a general aneasthetic in order to reduce the amount of stress, however, this is normally not necessary in straight-forward otoplasty for adults.  Sometimes, if extensive changes need to be made then your surgeon might prefer you under a general aneasthetic so that there is less movement and muscle tension.

The Surgery Procedure in Ear Correction

Your surgeon will normally cut along the back of the ear so that access can be made to the cartilage, although sometimes an incision might need to be made to the front of your ear.  As a result the incision might leave a small scar at the front of your ear, but it is more likely that the scar will be behind your ear and invisible.  The cartilage is what affects the shape and the angle of the ear, and so by remodeling the cartilage your surgeon can effectively change how your ear looks and lies against your skull. 

If the angle is the problem then it is often merely a matter of reshaping the cartilage so that the ear can lie flatter.  Often in these incidences your surgeon will also use permanent sutures to fix the cartilage back.  If the size is also a problem then the cartilage is removed to reduce the size of the ears. 

In the cases of hereditary problems that cause the top of the ear to need extra support, your surgeon can manipulate scar tissue and cartilage so that the top of the ear is more stable.  The shape of your ear can also be changed using this technique, leading to a greater definition to the shape of your ear and an increase in the strength of the cartilage. 

Stitches used in Ear Correction (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty) Surgery

Once the surgery has been completed the incisions will then be stitched up.  Normally your surgeon will use dissolvable sutures that don’t need to be removed.  Only sometimes will normal removable stitches be used, and these will need to be taken out by your surgeon a week to ten days after your surgery.

Scarring in Correction Surgery (Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty) Surgery

The scarring produced by Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty is minimal, with any noticeable scars being placed behind the ear where no one is likely to see them.  Sometimes the surgeon might need to make incisions in front of the ear, although this is quite rare, and in these cases the scarring will be more noticeable.  Scarring usually reduces so that it is barely recognisable anyway. 

After the operation you are likely to be able to return home.  It is important that you don’t drive and get someone to come and pick you up instead. Sometimes you might need to stay in the clinic longer, but this is quite rare.  As an Otoplasty/Pinnaplasty patient you will be a day case, and are unlikely to stay overnight. 

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