Large, prominent or protruding ears are a common problem for many people, causing stress and in some cases emotional problems. It affects the confidence of individual people, particularly children. Otoplasty (also known as pinnaplasty) is the surgical procedure that can help people overcome these problems and in doing so makes the ear less obvious or prominent.
Otoplasty is a procedure which can be carried out from the age of 5. At this age children will have allowed enough time for the ear to fully develop and the cartilage is strong enough to repair itself and hold any stitches.
As with other forms of cosmetic surgery anyone considering Otoplastry should consider the full implications and benefits. It is worth bearing in mind that not many of us are born perfectly shaped, we all have minor imperfections, slightly different sized ears or a slightly deformed nose. But in cases were the ear is particularly large or prominent, this can cause the individual embarrassment, leading to loss of confidence and can make those affected, seek cosmetic changes to their ears. It is for this reason that Otoplasty is considered to be a purely cosmetic procedure although can carry huge psychological benefits.
The McLean Academy will help you consider your options and will fairly assess the degree of imperfection that you are experiencing.
Preparation and Procedure
The otoplasty procedure takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to perform and can be peformed under a local or general anaesthetic. In some cases, particularly where children are concerned, it may be less stressful for them to undergo the surgery whilst under a general anaesthetic. In most cases, the patient is allowed to leave the hosptial on the same day the surgery is performed.
There are different techniques which may be used by the surgeon, these techniques will be fully discussed with the patient during your consultations. The techniques are dependant upon the result required and the individual case of each patient. The most common technique involves a small cut being made at the back of the ear. Cartilage is then reshaped, allowing the ear to be pushed backwards towards the head, reducing the amount it protrudes. Small stitches are applied to hold the ear in place and create the desired look. The skin is closed with a dissolving stitch and a head bandage applied.
After the operation
It is likely that you will have a small dressing over the ear immediately after surgery and up until the stitches are removed. It is possible that you will wear a bandage around the head to protect the area from accidental knocks and to ensure the area remains clean through out.
Where on going pain to the area is suffered, simple pain killers can be used to ease this discomfort.
Through out the period stitches remain in the ears and for a period following their removal, it is important to keep the area clean and free from infection.
While the majority of people do not experience any complications during the ear reshaping procedure, it is important to bear in mind the points covered on this page. Please discuss any concerns you may have over the procedure or risks involved with a member of staff at the McLean Academy.
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