Otoplasty is a surgical procedure to change the size, shape or proportion of the ears or pin them back if they stick out. The most common reason why people seek ear surgery is because they are bothered by how far their ears stick out from their head. This ear characteristic can cause psychological trauma and can affect personality and self-esteem for a lifetime. For this reason, many parents chose to get surgery performed in their children to avoid bullying and future emotional impact. The most common approaches to correct prominent ears are Otoplasty and Earfold (a less invasive procedure).
Practical information about Otoplasty
|Local anaesthesia (sedation may be required specially in children or nervous patients).|
|Outpatient - the patient goes home on the same day.|
|2 weeks to go back to work.|
|Total rest during the first 24 hours; wear headband 24/7 for 1 or 2 weeks; avoid touching or rubbing ears; sleep with your head elevated for a couple of weeks; avoid sun exposure; take medication according to medical advice.|
Who is a good candidate for Otoplasty?
Otoplasty covers several outer-ear related surgeries.
Good candidates for an otoplasty usually meet the following criteria:
- You are unhappy with the way your ears look and feel uncomfortable specially when you style your hear
- You feel your ears are too big and out of proportion
- Your ears stick out from your head
- Your earlobes are large and oddly shaped
- Your ears are not symmetric
- Children above 5 years old
- Mentally stable patients with realistic expectations about surgery results
- Healthy patients without health problems which may interfere with healing process
STEP BY STEP
Otoplasty – the surgery step by step
Step 1: Markings
Before administrating anaesthesia, the patient’s ears are marked. Standardized photographs are taken before and after marking.
Step 2: Anesthesia
Local anaesthesia is administrated in the area all around the ears. If you are having sedation it will also be administrated through intravenous injection.
Step 3 – Preparation
Ear skin is disinfected, and blue wraps are placed to protect the surgical spot from external environment.
Step 4 – Incisions
Otoplasty incisions are usually made behind the ear. When incisions are needed in the front of the ear, they are hidden within the ear folds. Internal sutures can also be performed to secure the newly shaped cartilage.
Step 5 – Closing incisions
Otoplasty incisions typically are closed with sutures which are removed after 7 days.
Step 8 – Checking final results
Final results are checked before placing the headband and taking the patient to the recovery room. Results are seen immediately and will improve gradually as swelling and bruising subside.
All incisions leave scars. However, ear pinning surgery scars are hidden behind the ear and usually heal very well. Some other ear correction requires incisions in front of the ear but is these cases, every attempt is made to hide the scars along the natural ear folds. Otoplasty incisions are made as small as possible for the best overall patient´s satisfaction.
Otoplasty in children
There is no right age to perform and otoplasty but the sooner the better. Ear pinning surgery is not only for adults, it´s designed for any person who suffers with their ear appearance. Children with prominent ears may suffer bullying at school which can interfere with their confidence and cause emotional trauma for the rest of their lives. Everyone deserves to feel confident from a very young age and feel comfortable in their own body. If you think your child needs ear surgery, speak to your plastic surgeon about it. It is recommended to get surgery done at an early age but not before the age of 5 as ears are still developing.
Otoplasty - Get ready for surgery
Like in any other surgery, otoplasty involves preparation. It is important to know what to expect and follow medical advice. The initial step to undergo an ear correction surgery is the first consultation with the plastic surgeon where the following will be evaluated:
Medical history: it is important to inform your plastic surgeon about any medical condition related to your ears, ear infections or problems you have or had and talk about other important issues such as medication you take, allergies, etc.
Physical exam: the plastic surgeon will evaluate your ear size, shape and position to determine the best treatment option. Pictures may be taken for medical record.
Expectations: you should share with your plastic surgeon your goals and expectations regarding otoplasty and the appearance you wish to achieve. The plastic surgeon will be able to confirm if you are a good candidate for ear surgery and will recommend the appropriate techniques your case. Be aware surgery is not an exact science and results depend on genetics and initial ear characteristics.
Here are some tips to better prepare for surgery:
- Medical tests must be performed in advance (it may include blood, ear and other tests).
- Stop smoking a few weeks before surgery and during the recovery process as it may affect the ability to heal properly.
- Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatories or herbal supplements that can thin your blood.
- Take 2 weeks off work. For children surgery is recommended during school holidays.
- You will not be able to drive after the surgery so arrange for someone to pick you up at the clinic.
- You should have someone to help you during the first 24 hours – for precaution only.
Otoplasty - What to expect after the surgery?
After an otoplasty your ears will be covered with a headband for protection and support. Bandage must be used 24/7 for 1 or 2 weeks and then during the night for another 2 to 3 weeks. After surgery you will remain in the recovery room for a few hours until you are able to go home – it is an outpatient procedure so you can return home on the same day. Otoplasty recovery is not particularly painful, but you may experience the following symptoms:
- Mild to moderate pain.
Tips for a good recovery
Full recovery from an otoplasty takes time. It is important to know what to expect and follow medical instructions for a quicker and comfortable recovery. Here are some recommendations for a good recovery:
- Get organized to be off work for 2 weeks. For children school holiday season is preferred to perform surgery.
- Full rest for 24 hours.
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated with pillows.
- Do not rub your ears.
- Always use your headband.
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Take the prescribed medication.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication which increase the risk of bleeding.
- Attend the follow-up appointments.
- Provide distraction for children (board games, colouring books, TV shows, movies, etc).
- Report any bleeding, severe pain or unusual reactions to your plastic surgeon.
Otoplasty results - What to expect?
After your headband is removed you will notice an immediate change in the appearance of your ears – your ears will appear back closer to the head. However, due to bruising and residual swelling it can take up to 3 months (approximately) to see ear surgery final results.
Otoplasty risks and complications
As with any other surgery, there are risks and complications associated with ear surgery but, fortunately, they rarely happen. Thousands of otoplasties are performed all around the world with a very low complication rate and with a very high satisfaction level. Some of otoplasty risks and complications include:
- Reaction to anaesthesia.
- Allergic reactions.
- Hematoma or seroma.
- Changes in sensitivity.
- Unpleasant scarring.
- Suture complications.
- Asymmetric results.
- Cartilage reversal.
To minimize the risk of otoplasty complications, you must follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations before and after the surgery. During your consultation, all otoplasty risks and complications will be discussed in detail and you will be able to ask all your questions.
Price of an Otoplasty in Karachi
The price of an otoplasty (ear surgery) depends on surgery complexity and whether you are getting surgery in one or both ears. No two ear surgeries are the same and prices will vary on needed techniques and surgery time required. Otoplasty can also be combined with other surgical and non-surgical procedures. However, the price of an otoplasty in Karachi starts at Rs 125.000/ – includes medical and nursing fees, surgery room and other costs that will be carefully explained after your consultation. To schedule your ear surgery consultation in Karachi or for more information on prices and conditions, please contact us today on the following numbers:
- Aga Khan Hospital: +92 21 111 911 911
- Cooper Consultants Clinic: +92 21 35 37 0671 4
Why choose Dr Zia ul Islam for my Otoplasty?
Dr Zia is a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon from Karachi with over 10 years of experience in performing ear reshaping surgeries. Otoplasty requires exceptional skills and expertise to adapt techniques to each patient´s anatomy.
- Dr Zia routinely performs otoplasties and Earfold surgeries.
- Proven results by before and after gallery.
- Top rated ear surgery plastic surgeon in Karachi.
- Performs ear surgeries in state of art clinics with all the safety conditions for his patients – Aga Khan Hospital and Cooper Clinic in Karachi.
SCHEDULE YOUR OTOPLASTY
APPOINTMENT IN KARACHI
Aga Khan Hospital
+92 21 111 911 911
Cooper Consultants Clinic
+92 21 35 37 0671 4
If you have decided on performing your Otoplasty surgery in Karachi or you simply want to learn more about the procedure, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Zia.
Otoplasty – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time for Otoplasty?
The best time to correct sticking out ears or any other ear deformities is when ears stop growing which happens by the age of 5/7. Otoplasty is also commonly performed in teens and adults but it is advisable to do it as sooner as you can to prevent emotional trauma.
When can I see the results?
After the dressings are removed you will see an immediate improvement in your ears position. However, results will continue improving by the time bruising and swelling totally subside.
Are otoplasty results permanent?
Otoplasty results are permanent if performed when ears have stopped growing. A minority of patients suffer cartilage reversal and may require further adjustments. However, most patients are pleased with the results and do not require further surgery.
Is there much pain and bruising after surgery?
Although otoplasty recovery is not particularly painful you may experience mild to moderate pain which is improved with prescribed medication. Most swelling and bruising subside within one or two weeks but ears can be sensitive during 3 to 4 weeks.
Will my ears look smaller?
Your ears will look less protuberant. They may look smaller, but the actual size of the ears is not changed by an otoplasty.
Can my hearing function be affected by otoplasty?
Hearing function will not be affected as otoplasty involves surgery on the outer ear.
When can my child go back to school?
It is advisable to get ear surgery performed in children during school holiday. If you decide to do it during school time your child can go back to school after 1 or 2 weeks but make sure you speak to the teachers and make your child understand the consequences of getting hurt during the recovery period. Playing and kids sport activities must be avoided for one month.
Earlobes are repaired during otoplasty?
Earlobe surgery is not the same as otoplasty. Earlobe surgery is a type of ear surgery to repair an earlobe that has been stretched or torn. The plastic surgeon can suture the open earlobe and allow the patient to wear earrings again. However, if needed, otoplasty can be combined with an earlobe correction in the same procedure to improve both prominent ears and earlobe opening.
Can I wear glasses after surgery?
Since the ear pinning surgery incision is usually made behind the ears, it´s best not to wear glasses or sunglasses until incisions have healed completely – for 2 to 3 weeks.
What is the success rate of otoplasty?
Otoplasty has been a very successful procedure in patients who have followed pre and post-surgery medical advice and have realistic expectations about the surgery results. Over 90% of people who undergo otoplasty ear surgery are extremely happy with the results and would recommend the procedure to anyone suffering from “sticking out ears”.