If you are unhappy with the size, shape or position of your ears then you may benefit from ear correction surgery which is a surgical procedure that can reshape and reconstruct the ear.
We have answered some of your top questions about the procedure and recovery afterwards.
Is there a difference between an otoplasty and a pinnaplasty?
If you have been researching ear correction you may have noticed that some refer to the procedure as otoplasty and others as a pinnaplasty. Are they the same thing?
You’ll be pleased to know that everyone is still talking the same language and there is no difference between an otoplasty and a pinnaplasty.
There is no difference, Pinna refers to the projecting part of the ear outside the head, oto means ear when combined with other words such as ‘ology’ or ‘plasty’ which then means moulding or reshaping of a defect to restore form and/or function to a body part.
What makes me suitable for an otoplasty/pinnaplasty?
Despite being known as ear correction surgery, the procedure is not suitable for everyone. This is why it is important to do your research and go along for consultations with surgeons to work out your suitability and your realistic expectations.
Anyone with ears that are of normal size or shape with no obvious deformity apart from the prominence of them will be suitable for surgery. Those with lop ears for example or microtia will not be suitable for surgery.
I have had an otoplasty as a child, but I feel my ears are still prominent, can this be performed again?
Generally, a child will have ear correction surgery before the age of 5 and this is decided by the parents. When the child is between 5 and 13 they are usually not too worried about their appearance but then after age 13 there seems to be many favouring going ahead with surgery again. We are always able to operate again on the same area if you feel you need to have the procedure again, but always make sure you talk to your surgeon about your realistic expectations.
Am I too old for an otoplasty?
You may be thinking you’ve left it too late, or it is not worth having any more but age is just a number and if something is bothering you enough to even consider surgical options to treat it then it is well worth asking the question.
As long as you are fit and healthy then there is no age limit. As this type of surgery is an elective operation, we are a little stricter on health as we need to ensure that you are able to recover from the aesthetic.
How does an otoplasty work?
The procedure involves the surgeon reshaping the cartilage of the ear. The cartilage is what forms the ear underneath the skin. If you are born with misshapen ears, this is often corrected through the use of a splint in the first couple of days as the cartilage is very soft and mouldable with no need for invasive surgery.
Will an otoplasty affect my hearing?
An otoplasty will have no effect on your hearing. There are three parts to the ear; the pinna is the external ear, the middle ear which is behind the eardrum and then deeper in you have the inner ear balance. When you have ear correction surgery it will only affect the pinna region of the ear. After the surgery you will be required to wear bandages which cover your ears – this may reduce your hearing slightly but once you are allowed to remove these, your hearing will return to normal.
When will I be able to wash my hair after surgery?
When it comes to having any type of surgery, the recovery period can be difficult not just because of any discomfort but because when it comes to doing normal things like having a shower or bath, you may be restricted. We would suggest that before having surgery you do anything that you need to do – bath, shower, hair wash and shave the day before you are due in for surgery. This way you know that it has been done and a few days without being able to perform these actions should not be too traumatic for you! After ear correction surgery you will be required to wear a bandage or dressing for 3-4 days so during this time hair washing will be off limits. Once you have been given the go-ahead by your nurse or surgeon to remove these dressings you will be okay to wash your hair, but just take it easy.
Will I be able to play sports like rugby after an otoplasty (sports to avoid if applicable?)
Once recovered you will be free to play any sport, however we do recommend that you try and avoid any sports that cause excessive friction on the ear like rugby as although this shouldn’t cause your ears to return to their original state – it may distress the ear a little and may eventually lead to deformity that you can see on professional rugby players.
Will I be able to pierce my ear after an otoplasty?
Getting your ears pierced is vastly popular but if you have struggled with the appearance of your ears the thought of having any type of decoration on them may have felt terrifying with the fear of drawing additional unwanted attention. So once you have had surgery you may be considering a new piercing to celebrate your new ears.
There is no reason why you would not be able to have any piercings after ear correction surgery this includes lobe to cartilage piercing.
Is an otoplasty permanent?
Generally yes, as long as you take care during your recovery period then there should be no reason for your ears to revert back to their original state. Sometimes we do perform revision surgery if the patient decides the change is not enough which is more common if one ear protruded slightly more than the other. This is all comes down to realistic expectations however which is fully discussed with your surgeon during a consultation.
View our otoplasty ear correction before and after photos here
Read our extensive FAQs here
The Private Clinic
We are proud to have some of the most experienced Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons as part of our ear reshaping team including:
- Mr Dario Rochira in London and Bristol
- Mr Mark Lloyd in Birmingham
- Mr Kenneth Kok in Birmingham
- Mr Adel Fattah in Manchester
- Mr Philip Lim in Leeds
To find out more about ear correction at The Private Clinic call 0333 920 2471 or click here to use our otoplasty online contact form to book an appointment.