Ear Correction (Prominent Ears)
The surgical ear correction procedure for a protruding ear is called an Otoplasty. There are a number of different types of operations designed to treat prominent ears, depending on whether the degree of protrusion is mild or severe, and on the need to correct the shape of the earlobe. Otoplasty procedures are often performed in children, at about the age of 6, as the ear is almost fully developed at that stage, and correction can prevent stress related to the condition. The procedures are virtually identical in adults, where they can easily be done in a day surgery setting.
Most operations involve an incision at the back of the ear, which exposes the cartilage. The cartilage is then sutured in a way to reduce prominence of the ear lobe. If required, scoring or excision to part of the cartilage, can adjust the shape of the earlobe. The surgery is customised to each patient’s unique needs.
In a new advance, we use the Surgitron electronic scalpel to make the incision and adjust the cartilage. This has given us better results, and better healing than the standard techniques, and makes the doctor’s task easier by minimising bleeding during the procedure.
The operation takes from 30 minutes to one hour per ear and is usually performed using anaesthetic.
Sutures (stitches) typically are removed seven days after surgery, or dissolve over that time.
An important part of the procedure is the wearing of a headband, which helps the ear cartilage to heal in its new position. This must be worn continuously for at least 10 days, to promote the best possible outcome from the procedure. Although bruising and swelling around the ears may occur, these settle, usually resolving in one to three weeks. When surgery is performed with a laser or Surgitron, bruising is usually reduced.
The skin scars heal as inconspicuous thin lines in nearly all patients within a few weeks, and are usually not detectable as they are hidden behind the ear.
Most patients advise that there is only mild discomfort after the procedure, easily controlled if necessary by analgesics. Returning to normal activities can often be achieved after only several days rest.
Otoplasty is a common cosmetic surgery procedure, and many thousands are successfully performed each year. The potential for haematoma, infection, numbness, and hypertrophic scarring is present, but is small (approx 1%), and the use of new technology, and prophylactic antibiotics help minimise the incidence of these events. Occasionally, a second procedure may be required if the amount of correction is slightly too little, or if a treated begins to protrude again, which happens in a small number of cases.
In general, Otoplasty is a relatively safe and straight-forward operation, with great patient satisfaction.
Dr Simon Rosenbaum MB BS ACCAM
Medical Director, Practitioner of Cosmetic Surgery
Dr Simon Rosenbaum trained in Australia and in the United States. He has been performing cosmetic procedures for over two decades and has successfully completed thousands of procedures. He has vast experience with many other cosmetic surgery procedures also, including liposuction, abdominoplasty, tummy tuck, otoplasty, male breast reduction, blepharoplasty, face lift, thread lift, breast reduction, breast lift and brow lift.
Dr Rosenbaum is the former President of the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australia (CPSA). His experience and travel overseas to both lecture and learn about cosmetic surgery procedures ensure that the latest equipment and techniques are used to enhance your results.
To arrange your consultation with Dr Simon Rosenbaum, please phone 07 5509 0077 or complete the form below.