Otoplasty, more commonly known as ear surgery or ear pinning, as the name suggests is a surgery to pin protruding or larger ears.
This surgery is not limited to adults. It is also quite common in children.
What is otoplasty?
Otoplasty is a surgery primarily aiming to pin back protruding ears that stick out. This is done in order to give the individual a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
One of the most common reasons women opt for otoplasty is actually because of their hair. Many women also feel the need to conceal their ears with their hair which can limit them from doing their hair differently or how they like, it if prominent ears are a cosmetic concern of theirs.
Otoplasty in children
Otoplasty can also be performed on children who are born with protruding ears, in order to prevent them from being teased or bullied when they grow older.
Otoplasty for children has an MBS item number meaning Medicare will cover a portion of the costs and the surgery will not be entirely out of pocket. A referral from a qualified general practitioner is required to claim a rebate on this procedure.
What are the risks associated with otoplasty?
All surgical or invasive procedures pose risks.
The risks associated with otoplasty (ear surgery) are typically very minor however should not be discounted. Some of these risks include bleeding, infection and scarring however, each individual’s experience during and after surgery is very different.
It is important to discuss any concerns you may have with Dr Johnny Kwei before undertaking surgery.
Risks and Complications of Ear Pinning Surgery
At Johnny Kwei Plastic Surgery, your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. Ear pinning surgery, also known as otoplasty or ear correction surgery, is a commonly performed procedure that can enhance the appearance and position of the ears. Here are some risks and complications associated with ear pinning surgery:
General Risks and Complications:
- Infection: Although rare, there is a risk of infection after surgery. In such cases, antibiotics or further surgery may be necessary to treat the infection.
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions used during the surgery.
- Formation of Blood Clot: In rare instances, a large blood clot (hematoma) may form beneath the incision site. If this occurs, drainage or additional surgical intervention may be required.
- Chest Infection and Sore Throat: These risks are associated with general anesthesia.
- Pain, Bruising, and Swelling: It is common to experience pain, bruising, and swelling around the operated site(s) after surgery.
- Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars: In rare cases, raised, red, and thickened scars (keloids and hypertrophic scars) may develop. While these scars may be itchy and unsightly, they are not a threat to your health.
- Slow Healing: Factors such as smoking or diabetes can affect the healing process. It is important to follow our pre-operative and post-operative instructions to promote optimal healing.
- Short-Term Nausea: General anaesthesia can cause short-term nausea in some individuals.
Specific Risks and Complications of Ear Pinning Surgery:
- Asymmetrical Ears: In some cases, asymmetry of the ears may persist or develop after surgery. If this occurs, further surgery may be necessary to correct any symmetry problems or irregularities in the cartilage.
- Re-protrusion of Ears: Although rare, there is a risk of the ears protruding again after surgery. In such cases, further surgery may be required to address the issue.
- Nausea and Loss of Balance: Fluid accumulation within the inner ear can lead to temporary symptoms such as nausea and loss of balance. These symptoms typically resolve as the healing process progresses.
- Temporary or Permanent Loss of Sensation: It is possible to experience a temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the skin around the surgical site and the ear’s surface.
- Small Areas of Skin Necrosis: In rare instances, small areas of skin overlying the cartilage of the ear may experience a loss of blood supply, resulting in the formation of ulcers. These ulcers may take several weeks to heal properly.
During your comprehensive consultation, our skilled surgeons will evaluate your specific needs and discuss these potential risks and complications in detail. They will address any questions or concerns you may have and develop a personalized surgical plan to achieve your desired results safely and effectively. With our expertise and commitment to your well-being, we aim to provide you with outstanding outcomes and a smooth recovery journey.
Recovery Process for Ear Surgery
Following ear surgery, your ears will be covered with a bulky bandage that will remain in place for approximately 10 days. Once the bandages are removed, it is normal for the ears to be bruised, swollen, and tender. Some unevenness of the ears may also be present in the initial days after surgery. However, over time, these issues typically resolve, and the final contour of the ears will become more evident after several weeks.
In the first few days after surgery, you may experience pain, swelling, and discomfort. Pain relief medication such as paracetamol is usually sufficient to manage any discomfort. Dr Kwei may recommend wearing an elastic headband at night to protect the shape of the ears for several weeks. Sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows can also help reduce swelling.
It is important to avoid activities that may bend or harm the ears, such as contact sports. Refrain from wearing earrings during the initial recovery period.
For most adults, it is possible to return to work after approximately five days. Children can typically go back to school after seven days, but should exercise caution during playtime to protect the healing ears.
Remember, every individual’s recovery process may vary, so it is crucial to follow Dr Kwei’s specific post-operative instructions. By adhering to these guidelines and giving yourself sufficient time to heal, you can expect to achieve optimal results from your ear surgery.
Ear Surgery in Sydney
If you’re considering ear surgery (otoplasty) for yourself or your child, we encourage you to arrange a consultation with Dr Johnny Kwei to discuss your options.