Otoplasty surgery specifically addresses aesthetic concerns with the ears. For some people the shape and protrusion of their ears can be a source of embarrassment and lead to a lack of self-confidence. Misshapen and protruding ears can become an undesirable focal point for those who are living with ears that don’t sit flat against the side of their head.
Colloquially referred to as ear pinning or ear reshaping, otoplasty can address concerns with ears that are too large, distorted or protrude. The surgery aims to improve the shape and position of the ears.
The most common reasons for ear surgery include the following
Protruding ears. This is the most common reason behind the otoplasty procedure. Ears are repositioned back to the sides of the head to sit a more desirable position.
Ears that lack normal folds or fold over on top. Using his expert eye and surgical expertise, Dr. Cleland will sculpt the ear to correct these issues so your ear has a more natural look to it.
Ears that are a different size or shape. All ears have some degree of asymmetry. When this is pronounced however surgery may be required to restore balance. A variety of otoplasty techniques can be employed and will depend on the exact nature of the concern. Improved symmetry can go a long way towards creating a better aesthetic.
Earlobe repair, reduction and reconstruction. Dr. Cleland repairs torn earlobes, a problem frequently seen with trauma to a pierced earlobe. He also offers surgical options for patients who have stretched or gauged their earlobes with spacers and wish to have this corrected. This is a common request and may be seen in individuals who find themselves working in a more conservative environment or who are undergoing other lifestyle changes. Similary overly large earlobes which can occur with aging may be reduced surgically.
The otoplasty procedure can be performed on younger patients coinciding with the time children start school. At this age, the ear has grown sufficiently to allow accurate correction. Surgery can reduce the potential for bullying or teasing at school over the appearance of their ears.
Adults may wish to enhance their appearance through ear surgery. This can take place at any age, providing the individual is otherwise fit for surgery.
The procedure typically takes between 1-3 hours. Surgery can take longer in cases where more reconstruction is needed.
General anaesthesia. For minor adjustments, local anaesthesia +/- mild sedation will be used. Dr. Cleland will ensure you are comfortable through every stage of the process.
Uncomplicated otoplasty procedures are performed as day surgeries in our Adelaide surgical centre. More complicated surgeries could require an overnight stay for observation.
Healthy individuals with an interest in improving the aesthetics misshapen or prominent ears are good candidates for otoplasty. Depending on the wishes of parents children are also candidates for this procedure.
Dr. Cleland will use a surgical technique specific to your areas of concern. The careful placement of incisions behind the ear provides ready access to the cartilage of the ear. Cartilage will be sculpted to attain the desired aesthetics. For ear pinning, the ear will be repositioned back closer to the head to reduce its prominence. In some cases, it may be necessary to fold, incise or remove small amounts of ear cartilage in order to create an ear fold that looks more natural.
Patients can expect to feel some aching and discomfort in the ears. There may also be some swelling, redness and altered sensation. Patients should rest well after surgery and manage discomfort with pain medications and ice packs, as needed.
Patients are usually able to return to work or school within a week of surgery and will be fully recovered from the surgery within three months.
All surgical procedures will result in some type of scarring. Dr. Cleland makes his incisions behind the ear. Scars are typically discrete and minimal.
Results will be noticeable right away after your surgery. However, bandages will cover your ears after surgery. Once the postoperative swelling has reduced, you’ll be able to better see the results of your surgery. Most postoperative swelling is reduced after a month of recovery. The new look of your ears will improve day by day, with the reduction of the swelling.
There is always a risk of complications with any surgical procedure, even with a highly skilled surgeon. The potential risks of otoplasty surgery include infection, swelling, numbness, excessive scarring, haematoma and asymmetry.
The needs of each patient can vary. Typically speaking, we will see you at 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months or as required if there are complications.