Otoplasty may allow a person to pursue their life without having to constantly think about or have concerns about the way they might be perceived by others because of their ears.
Otoplasty surgery options
Otoplasty, which is often referred to as ear pinning or “bat ears” surgery, is designed to address a spectrum of ear deformities. Most commonly, however, otoplasty is used to address “prominent” ears.
Prominent ears are noticeable to the people around us because they fall outside the accepted norm. This is an imprecise definition though because the perception of what constitutes prominent ears is highly subjective. But in a nutshell, prominent ears refer to ears that noticeably stick out.
It is interesting that one person’s prominent ears, which are a source of constant psychological torment and social embarrassment, may be considered quite normal to someone else. Many people simply embrace and enjoy every part of their unique appearance. The decision to first seek surgery is very personal and based on many physical and life factors.
At Waverley House in Adelaide, Otoplasty is considered to be a form of cosmetic surgery. This means that it addresses a physical feature that is not life threatening and one that doesn’t produce any physical symptoms. Cosmetic surgery is also designed to address self-esteem and socialisation issues.
The effects of this type of surgery are hard to quantify but their benefits are undeniable. Otoplasty, in particular, eliminates the anxiety and focus associated with the appearance of prominent ears. It allows a person to live their life without having to constantly think about or have concerns about the way they might be perceived by others because of their ears. In the case of children having the surgery, it can give parents security and assurance that their child can socialise without being targeted by bullies.
We recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr Rodney Cooter before making a final decision on otoplasty surgery.
Otoplasty FAQs – What You Should Know
Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
At Waverley House in Adelaide, we treat healthy men, women and children who want to address large or mishappen ears. Patients should be at least 6 years old as this is when the ears are fully developed. Otoplasty is ideal for anyone who no longer wants to deal with the psychological effects of having prominent ears. In the case of children, the earlier we can perform the surgery, the better, as this will eliminate many years of unnecessary bullying.
How is otoplasty surgery performed?
There are several different techniques that can be used to treat prominent and misshapen ears but in most instances, the incisions are made at the back of the ears, which also makes scarring less noticeable. A local anaesthetic is generally used to perform this procedure but in the case of children, a general anaesthetic is recommended. Once the incisions have been made, the cartilage may be sculpted and the ears will be pinned back closer to the side of the head. Non-removable stitches are used to keep the ears in place. Patients who have excess cartilage may need to have some removed to achieve their desired result. The average otoplasty procedure takes about one to two hours to complete.
What can I expect after my otoplasty surgery at Waverly House?
Patients can expect some mild pain and throbbing for several days after their procedure but this can be managed with medication. A week of recovery is generally required after otoplasty because of the mild pain, swelling, redness and numbness. If absorbable sutures were used, these will dissolve on their own. Otherwise, you will need to have your stitches removed after week one. There will be a noticeable difference after your surgery but you will see the full results once all the swelling has subsided.
Dr Cooter will also require you to wear a light headband for several days in order to protect your ears. It’s also very important to keep your ears out of the sun as sunburn may occur without you noticing because of the numbness. Any strenuous activities and contact sports should be avoided for at least two months.
Patients can also expect to feel more confident in their appearance once they’re fully healed.
Are there any risks associated with otoplasty surgery?
As with any type of surgery, otoplasty also carries some risks and has several potential side effects. With this being said, serious side effects are very rare but they can include adverse reactions to the anaesthetic, infection, excessive scarring, mismatched ears and blood clots. Dr Cooter has extensive experience with otoplasty surgery though and if you carefully follow all of the necessary aftercare instructions, there is no reason why side effects need to be a concern.
Will my insurance cover this type of procedure?
In some cases, insurance providers do cover it but this is something you will need to take up with your insurer.