“Otoplasty” refers to surgery performed to correct prominent ears by re-shaping the ear folds and setting the ears closer to the head, in a natural and subtle manner. The aim of surgery is to create a very natural, “not operated on” appearance of the ears.
Most commonly, patients with prominent ears have two specific features. Firstly, the angle of the ear from the skull is increased, and secondly, the edge of the ear does not have the normal curled shape. Both these features contribute to the appearance, and both are specifically addressed at surgery.
Many patients with prominent ears have been concerned with the appearance of their ears since childhood, and indeed this corrective surgery is often done in children before they enter high school, after the ears have fully developed. Doing the surgery in childhood can avoid years of schoolyard taunts, and as adults allow you to wear your hair short or pulled back, which has often been avoided. This condition has a hereditary component to it, often running in families, with parents bringing their children for surgery, which they themselves had, or wished they had performed.
How can this procedure help me?
Otoplasty places ears in a position that is more in balance and harmonious with your face. Usually people select this surgery when they feel that their ears protrude in a significant manner. Benefits for you include:
- Improved self confidence and self esteem
- Newfound freedom in wearing your hair
- Very safe procedure with little risk involved
The Consultation Process: What to Expect
A consultation with Dr. Merten is the first step when you are considering surgery and will take approximately 45 minutes. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations about looking and feeling better after surgery.
During the consultation, Dr. Merten will ask you a variety of questions covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.
You will receive a detailed and thorough examination of your ears and how they relate to your face as a whole. Dr Merten will then go closely go over your options and his recommendations.
The recovery process and any potential complications that could arise will also be discussed. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.
The Procedure: What Does it Involve?
The particular surgical technique that Dr. Merten recommends will depend on the specific factors associated with your ears. In most cases, otoplasty involves makes a small incision behind the ear at which the cartilage is accessed and modified. Various methods can be used to reshape the cartilage depending on the patients needs and severity of their condition. Often internal sutures stiches are used.
Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?
Otoplasty is performed in hospital, under general anaesthetic, and takes approximately 2.5 hours. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning you get to go home the same day. All surgeries are performed in fully accredited facilities ensuring your safety.
What is recovery like?
Advancements in anaesthesia over recent years has meant more comfort for patients – less pain with minimal post operative sedation and nausea and a quick recovery to “feeling normal.” The anaesthetists in my team are highly skilled and experienced in modern techniques and devoted to keeping you comfortable.
After otoplasty surgery, you will need to wear a head bandage for several days, but apart from this inconvenience, the recovery is usually very pain free and complications are uncommon. There is a minor amount of bruising and swelling, which may take a few weeks to completely settle.
Post Operative instructions advised by Dr. Merten must be followed to ensure recovery is not compromised.
Results: What and When?
You will receive almost immediate results however full results are usually seen after 6 weeks, once all swelling and bruising has subsided.
When can I resume day-to-day activities?
Most people are back at work a few days post surgery with normal activities being resumed after one week. Strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
What complications can arise from the procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:
- Bruising, bleeding, heamotoma formation
- Anaesthetic problems
- Deep Vein thrombosis
Risks and complications specific to Otoplasty include:
- Asymmetrical Ears
- Re-protrusion of one or both of the ears
- Fluid accumulation in the inner ear leading to nausea and loss of balance
- Altered sensation around the incision site
The potential risks and complications of the surgery will be discussed with you in detail at your preoperative consultations.
Will Otoplasty leave scars?
Incisions are made behind the ear, hence leaving no visible scarring.
What else should I consider before having Otoplasty surgery?
Emotional stability is the primary factor to be considered before any aesthetic surgery is performed. It is mostly your mental attitude and realistic expectations that determines a successful outcome. Otoplasty can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; the rest is entirely up to you.
To understand what is reasonable to expect from the surgery, it is a good idea to look at before and after photos. This will give you a good perspective of what results other patients have achieved through Dr. Merten’s work.
Before deciding to have this procedure, you may want to consider your planning for the healing period. Will you need help or assistance from others?
Do you have any more questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. Our team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.
Before & After
To protect the privacy of our patients, protruding ears (otoplasty) before and after cases can be seen in our office during your consultation.