Prominent, protruding, or “bat” ears are a very common condition that affects the appearance and the psychology of people who suffer from this deformity, as the ears are an important aesthetic part of the head that marks its side boundaries. The purpose of otoplasty is to correct prominent ears, which appear from early infancy, and any inherited or acquired abnormality of the ears. This procedure is designed to give the auricle a more natural and anatomic appearance.
In children, the condition is recommended to take place before starting school, around the age of 6 years, to avoid possible negative impact on their psychology. The auricle is fully shaped at birth and achieves a nearly adult size by age of 5 or 6 years.
However, the correction of prominent ears is quite common and indicated for adult men and women, to correct an aesthetic “disadvantage” and significantly improve the person’s appearance. Otoplasty or ear surgery aims at lifting the ear auricles back to their normal position.
Otoplasty is also performed in case of aplasia of the pinna (agenesis of the ear), i.e., where there is complete or partial lack of auricle (pinna). Moreover another common disorder is the “bifid earlobe” which is mostly observed in women who wear heavy earrings and have torn their earlobe. The correction is performed under local anaesthesia with excellent results.
In children, otoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia, while adults may undergo the procedure under a local anaesthetic. At our clinic otoplasty in most cases is performed under local anaesthesia, which guarantees the safety of the procedure. The patient is able to return home right away.
Prominent ears of normal-size. In this case an incision is made on the back of the ear and through that incision the surgeon forms the skeleton of the external ear consisting of the cartilage. Then the auricle is affixed with absorbable sutures on the mastoid periosteum.
Otoplasty is a relatively painless procedure, with permanent results. Patients may return home on the same day after the operation. The aesthetic results of otoplasty are excellent; they significantly improve the person’s appearance and boost his/her self-confidence and psychology.
Conforming and compressive dressings are placed on the ears and around the head right after the surgery that must remain on for 3 days. The first change of the dressings takes place in the 3rd day and the patient is able to wash his/her hair with antiseptic shampoo.
Pain is subjective. Some might experience intense pain, while others experience no pain at all after the procedure. In any case, pain is tolerable and treated with common painkillers such as Depon or Ponstan (but not aspirin).
The exterior stitches (intradermal sutures) will be removed on the 15th day and patients are advised to wear an elastic dressing – headband when they sleep so as to avoid potential injury. The headband should be worn for about a month.
The procedure leaves no scars or marks, the patient is even able to return to work the day after the procedure and the result is permanent.
Otoplasty complications are rare when the procedure is performed by experienced and specialized plastic surgeons. Any haematoma on the pinna or inflammation must be treated immediately with drainage and oral antibiotics, respectively.
At Cosmetic Derma Medicine, otoplasty is a routine procedure for the plastic surgeons. In most cases we use local anesthesia, and complications are practically zero.