Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that changes the angle and shape of protruding or uneven ears in children and adults.
Ear surgery reshapes part of the cartilage in the ears, allowing them to lie closer to the side of the head. For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of four and fourteen. This is because a child’s ear cartilage is soft and easy to mould. In teenagers and adults, the firmer cartilage of fully formed ears does not allow the same degree of moulding. However, ear surgery can still be effective in teenagers and adults.
Ear surgery is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.
Some children and adults are unhappy with the shape of their ears because they are too big, stick out too much or are uneven in shape (asymmetrical). Some may have experienced teasing and taunting as a result of their appearance Ear surgery may be able to assist in making the ear appear more normal and restore self-confidence.
Before you decide on ear surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:
- Even when only one ear appears to stick out (protrude), surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance
- Exact evenness (symmetry) isn’t likely. Similar to natural ears, the position of the ears after otoplasty will not match perfectly
- Smokers are at increased risk of complications. If you are serious about undergoing surgery, you should quit smoking.
Ear surgery may be a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy and you do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- You have realistic expectations of what ear surgery can accomplish
- You are a non-smoker or have stopped smoking
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garme