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Ear Correction (Otoplasty)

The correction of prominent or misshapen ears is to reduce the protrusion and at the same time to provide a normal configuration when the ear is viewed from the side. This objective is achieved by modifying the flexibility of the cartilage beneath the skin thereby altering the shape and position to a more desired appearance.

The procedure is performed in theatre and usually takes app 45 minutes to 1 hour. It is usually carried out with the use of local anaesthesia, mainly with sedation, or alternatively with a general anaesthetic. In most cases the procedure for prominent ear correction is performed by making an incision (about 4-5 cm) usually made in the skin in the groove behind the ears where any remaining surface scar will not be visible. Occasionally however incisions are placed on the front surface of the ear, although these are placed inconspicuously within the normal contours.

After correction of the shape and position of the ear is accomplished, the incisions are sutured and the ears are carefully padded with cotton wool and a bandage is applied. All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. When Otoplasty is performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions and their healing abilities.

Probably the most common is residual irregularity in the cartilage is when the ear is viewed from either frontal of side angles. It should be noted however, that both ears are never exactly alike, even in the normal state and that perfect symmetry is therefore not a reasonable expectation. Significant degrees of differences may however require some secondary adjustment

Providing one understands that the goal of Otoplasty is improvement and not perfection, it can be ranked as one of the more successful cosmetic surgery procedures.