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  • Renowned Ear Plastic Surgeons based in the UK

Otoplasty (Ear Correction Surgery)

The Problem

As prominent features of the body, ear shape and size can have a major effect on how we feel about our face. Large or protruding ears can effect confidence, while ears that sit far away from the head can be uncomfortable.

Ear Correction Surgery otherwise known as an Otoplasty or a Pinnaplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape and reconstruct the ear. If you are unhappy with the shape, size or position of your ears, you may benefit from a Otoplasty or Pinnaplasty procedure. Ear Surgery consultations are available in our London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and Northampton clinics and our consulting rooms in Milton Keynes

If your main concern is related to your earlobes, then you should consider Split Earlobe Reconstruction or Tribal Earlobe Repair.

Earfold® is our new alternative procedure for correcting prominent ears. To find out about this alternative non surgical treatment, with less downtime please click here.

What is Otoplasty or Pinnaplasty?

Otoplasty, also known as Pinnaplasty or ear reshaping, is a relatively straightforward and simple cosmetic surgery procedure to resize, reshape, reposition and/or hold back the ears.

As prominent features of the body, ear shape and size can have a major effect on how we feel about our face. Large or protruding ears can affect confidence, while ears that sit far away from the head can be uncomfortable for the patient.

For more information on FAQs, before and after photos and expert Plastic surgeons see below.

The Problem

As prominent features of the body, ear shape and size can have a major effect on how we feel about our face. Large or protruding ears can effect confidence, while ears that sit far away from the head can be uncomfortable.

Otoplasty procedures usually take up to around 2 hours and can be performed under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the individual case. As specialists in minimally invasive procedures, we endeavour to carry out Otoplasty under local anaesthetic as often as possible, but will only proceed with the method that’s right for your needs.

During the treatment your surgeon will make an incision along the crease-line behind your ear and remove any excess cartilage that is causing it to protrude. The ear is then pinned back along the fold to its new position, closer to the head.

Following the surgery, the area will be stitched up and a dressing wrapped around your head to support the cartilage in its new place.

The Results

The result of an otoplasty procedure is naturally reshaped or resized ears that lie closer to your head.

Recovery / Downtime

We recommend that you take approximately one week off work. You may be allowed to return home immediately after the procedure, but this will depend on your case and some patients may be required to stay in hospital overnight to ensure your safety and recovery.

Regardless of whether you’ve received a local or general anaesthetic, you will need to arrange for someone to take you home and you may be asked to have someone to stay with you for the first-day post-procedure. Your surgeon and medical team will advise you on how to best aid your recovery.

You will need to wear a full turban head-bandage for 5-7 days to help support the wound. Sutures used are normally dissolvable.

Your ears will be bruised, swollen and red for a few weeks – it can take up to 6 weeks for a full recovery. Any discomfort is normally well controlled with painkillers.

A headband, or head-bandage, will be needed at night for a further 2 weeks to stop the ear rubbing on the pillow at night.

Normal hair washing can be resumed once the bandages are removed.

When it comes to researching cosmetic surgery procedures there are a lot of words and abbreviations that may seem confusing. We have created a glossary of the most popular Plastic Surgery words which you can view here.

FAQs

How does an otoplasty work?

An otoplasty 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.

Am I suitable for ear correction surgery?

An otoplasty / pinnaplasty 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 what you can realistically expect from surgery.

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.

To find out about your suitability for ear correction surgery, make a consultation to see one of our expert plastic surgeons.

How long will the procedure take?

An Otoplasty procedure typically takes about two to three hours to complete. Depending on the case and the desired results, the treatment can be performed under local or general anaesthetic.

An Otoplasty procedure typically takes about two to three hours to complete. Depending on the case and the desired results, the treatment can be performed under local or general anaesthetic.

Does ear correction need local or general anaesthetic?

An otoplasty or pinnaplasty procedure can be performed under a local anaesthetic in most circumstances however this is decided on an individual case basis and you will be told at your consultation what to expect on the day of your procedure.

Is ear correction surgery painful?

An otoplasty procedure is performed under local or general anaesthetic to ensure that you are comfortable and feel no pain. You may experience some mild discomfort after surgery which can be managed with painkillers and will subside after a few days.

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 popularity again for those favouring the surgery. 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.

To find out about your suitability for ear correction surgery, make a consultation to see one of our expert plastic surgeons.

Am I too old for an otoplasty?

You may be thinking you’ve left it too late, or it is not worth having anymore 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 to ear correction surgery. 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.

To find out about your suitability for ear correction surgery, make a consultation to see one of our expert plastic surgeons.

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.

How long will I have to wear a support band for?

In the first five to seven days following your procedure, you will have to wear a turban head-bandage to protect and support your wounds. During this time, you will have to wear a support band day and night.

Depending on your case, you may be required to wear the support band for up to four to six weeks.

In the first five to seven days following your procedure, you will have to wear a turban head-bandage to protect and support your wounds. During this time, you will have to wear a support band day and night.

Depending on your case, you may be required to wear the support band for up to four to six weeks.

Can you make my ears smaller instead of changing their projection?

Yes, we can. Your surgeon will assess your ears and give you objective advice about the proportions of your ears compared to your face and the best way for you to achieve natural-looking results.

It is possible to change the shape, projection and size of the ears. Ears can be pinned back, or skin can be removed and the cartilage reshaped when making other aesthetic changes.

To find out more about what an otoplasty procedure can do for you, click here to book a consultation.

Yes, we can. Your surgeon will assess your ears and give you objective advice about the proportions of your ears compared to your face and the best way for you to achieve natural-looking results.

It is possible to change the shape, projection and size of the ears. Ears can be pinned back, or skin can be removed and the cartilage reshaped when making other aesthetic changes.

What is the recovery period like after ear correction surgery?

A standard otoplasty recovery timeline;

First 24 hours– You will be required to wear a mild compressive garment around your head.  If you do manage to catch a glimpse, your ears may appear or feel larger but this is due to the swelling.

24 to 72 hours– Although the initial compression bandages may be removed, you will still be required to wear a light headband around your ears for the next 1-2 weeks. The majority of your swelling will begin to reduce. You will be able to shower/bathe from the neck down without any restrictions however you should avoid washing your hair until at least 3-4 days after the procedure.

72 hours to First Week– Some patients feel happy to return to work at this point but this will depend on the swelling and what your job involves.

First Week to Second Week– At this point, the swelling should have subsided and most patients feel comfortable to be in social situations and have returned to work and their normal activities. You will also be able to shower as normal at the end of the first week. After two weeks you won’t need to wear the headband at all times, just at night for another couple of weeks.

Three Months– Your swelling should be completely gone at this stage.

Will there be any visible scarring?

There should be no visible scarring if you’re having your ears pinned back. However, resizing or reshaping has the potential of leaving thin white scars where the cartilage has been altered. Your surgeon will advise you on this and you should take into consideration whether minimal scarring is suitable in view of your desired goals.

In any case, our surgeons take extra care to ensure that incisions are made within the natural lines and creases of the body so that scarring is either invisible or kept to a bare minimum.

Will there be any visible scarring?

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 and it may be worth asking for assistance the first time you attempt to do this.

Will I be able to play sports like rugby after an otoplasty?

Once recovered from ear correction surgery you will be free to play any sport this is usually from 6 weeks.

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.

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 an 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.

How much does Otoplasty (Ear Correction Surgery) cost?

The cost of an otoplasty/pinnaplasty procedure starts from £3,295 (under local anaesthetic). We don’t follow a one-price-fits-all policy and prices are quoted on a case by case basis. You will be given an accurate quote for your requirements following your consultation.

We offer FREE consultations with our highly experienced Patient Advisors who are able to offer you all the information you require prior to meeting a surgeon. Consultations for Ear Correction Surgery with one of our specialist Consultant Plastic Surgeons is £50. Please note consultations at our Harley Street clinic are with a surgeon.

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, ear correction surgery is permanent.

As long you take care during the 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 having realistic expectations prior to surgery which is fully discussed with your surgeon during a consultation.

Is there an ear surgery clinic near me?

The Private Clinic has clinics nationwide so we are sure to have an expert ear surgeons located near to you.

Our clinics are in;

  • London – 98 Harley street, W1G7HZ
  • Manchester –  25 St John Street, M3 4DT
  • Birmingham – 88 Hagley Road, B16 8LU – West Midlands
  • Leeds – 45 Park Square North, LS1 2NP – Yorkshire
  • Bristol – 92c Whiteladies Road, BS8 2QN – Clifton
  • Northampton – 82 Billing Road, NN1 5DF – East Midlands

We also have consulting rooms in Milton Keynes where you can have consultations with one of our patient advisors.

To find out more about booking a consultation at a clinic near you, contact us here.

What does a free ear surgery consultation mean?

We offer a free ear surgery phone or video consultations with our experienced patient advisers. They will be able to provide information on the procedure and the best ear correction surgeons that are going to suit your requirements.

In order to secure the timed appointment we will require a £25 refundable deposit. This is refunded once the consultation takes place. You can change your appointment time up to 48 hours before.

Contact us to book your free phone or video consultation.

Otoplasty (Ear Correction Surgery)

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    *All images, videos and testimonials are based on the personal experiences of our patients and represent individual body shapes and results. Please bear in mind that results may vary from person to person. All testimonies are provided voluntarily by our patients and clients. Their comments have not been altered in any way, and their experiences are their own.

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