Pinnaplasty (Ear Reshaping Surgery)
Why have Operation
The operation is done to improve the appearance of prominent, sticking out ears (so called bat ears). It is a common procedure to performed on children, as children can experience being teased in school due to the appearance of their prominent ears. It is advisable to wait until the child is at least 5 to 6 years old before considering surgery, as this is the age when the outer ear matures.
How is the Operation done
This operation is a day case, and can be done either as a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic procedure, depending on patient preference. However when the patient is a child, it is best that general anaesthetic is used.
The skin of the pinna is cut opened from behind, therefore any scars will be hidden away. Miss Cheang uses a suturing method, where stitches are placed strategically within the ear cartilage and causes it to fold backwards. In some cases it is required to remove some cartilage as well in order for the ear to sit better against the head.
Does it hurt
Some discomfort can be expected within the first week of the surgery, which simple painkillers should be adequate. The operation should not bring excessive pain. Any pain not responding to regular painkillers should seek medical advice.
After the operation
At the end of the operation, you will have a bandage on top of the head covering both ears. This will be removed in a week’s time. After that, it is advisable to wear a sweat band (used by athletes) during sleep, to continue pining the ears back, for the next 4 weeks.
How long do I have to be off work
One week off from work or school is required. Refrain from physical exercise for 6 weeks, contact sports for 2 months.
Otoplasty is an operation with a very high success rate. Most patients are very happy with the result. Major complications can include bleeding, collection of blood clot within the ear and infection. These could ultimately lead to cartilage necrosis and severe deformation of the ear, but are thankfully rare.
There are some minor sequelae which is perhaps not a complication as such, but should be made aware to the patient. There could be altered sensation of the ears, with some patients experiencing mild discomfort in the wind. Minor irregularities of the folded cartilage can be seen or felt in some cases. Any scars could change into adverse scarring (keloids). The sutures could become loosened, resulting in recurrence of the prominent ears. 10% of patients might need re-do surgery.