Most people are happy if their ears go unnoticed. Ears that stick out, are overly large or strangely shaped can attract unwanted attention, especially with school aged children, where teasing and cruel remarks are common. To prevent this and the possible psychological trauma, Otoplasty is available. With Otoplasty, the position and shape of the ears can be improved so they are no longer noticeable.
What age is recommended to have Otoplasty?
It is usually best to have an Otoplasty just prior to going to school. There is no medical benefit to waiting longer, but a child who has never previously noticed his or her ears can become very self-conscious once the teasing has started. However, it is never too late to consider Otoplasty. Increasingly, adults who have been thinking about surgery for many years are now ready to go ahead with Otoplasty.
Otoplasty is a day procedure, where children usually undergo general anaesthesia (completely asleep) and most adults choose local anaesthesia with sedation.
The cartilage is sculpted and sutures are placed to hold the cartilage in its new position. The incision is hidden in the crease behind the ear and dissolving sutures are used to close the incisions so they don’t need to be removed. A soft bandage is placed around the ears for 2 days post-op.
After the first day it is only necessary to wear the bandage at night, although with children it is often a good idea to continue wearing the bandage for 1 week. Pain is minimal and can often be controlled with simple oral pain medication. The ears may feel numb, but this will settle within a month.
Most people have slightly to very asymmetric ears naturally and you will still have asymmetric ears after the operation. However, once you are used to your new appearance the idea is that you forget about your ears altogether.
Otoplasty is very safe and risks and complications are rare. The main risk however, is the risk of infection, as the internal sutures can act as foreign bodies. You will be asked to wash with an antiseptic shampoo and given antibiotics in the drip and to go home with.
Note: Aspirin, Nurofen, Vitamin E , blood thinning medications and most herbal preparations tend to significantly increase bruising and should not be taken for 2 weeks prior to and 1 week after facial plastic surgery.
What’s the next step?
Your first step is an initial consultation Dr Oates. If you have a referral you will be able to claim some of the cost of the consultation from Medicare.
If Dr Oates decides you are a suitable candidate for eyelid reshaping and you want to go ahead, a booking for surgery and the pre operative care is scheduled.
The usual waiting period is approximately three to four weeks.
You may wish to speak with one of our nursing staff prior to seeing Dr Oates. During this complimentary consultation, you are able to discuss both surgical and non-surgical options to treat your cosmetic concern(s).