Otoplasty is administered to fix prominent ears by setting them in a position that’s closer to the head. The operative technique will vary depending on your physical features and your surgeon’s methods. The surgeon will remove skin from the back of the ear, a piece of the cartilage is either folded or removed. As a result, the ear can then bend naturally along the side of the head.
Is an Otoplasty suitable for me?
The decision to go ahead with an aesthetic procedure is a very personal one — particularly when you are making that decision on behalf of a child. The first step is a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. Whatever your reasons you should frankly discuss your personal goals and expectations with respect to the outcome of the procedure (both physical and emotional) with your surgeon.
How long will the procedure take?
Bat ear correction surgery may last anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 hours. However, please keep in mind that this is only actual surgical time. Additional time may need to also be taken with children.
How long will it take me (or my child) to recover following an Otoplasty?
Recovery times do vary from one patient to the next although in general recovery is rapid. Upon discharge, you will have a head bandage which will need to be worn for up to 1-2 weeks and will need to rest for this period of time. Post-operative pain after the first 24-48 hours should be minimal and if pain persists the bat ear correction specialist Dr Zurek should be consulted. It is also usual for the ears to be slightly swollen and bruised when the bandages are first removed although this should return to normal over the next couple of weeks.
Most patients are able to return to school or work in one week but should avoid sport and strenuous exercise for up to 6-8 weeks. Due to the nature of some playground activities, parents will need to take special care of children who have recently undergone the procedure to ensure appropriate healing time and to minimise any potential complications.
Will the procedure leave any scars?
The advanced surgical techniques applied by surgeons are designed to minimise (and where possible eliminate) all visible scarring. The incisions are often made behind the ear — resulting in minimal or no visible scarring. In general, you can expect any scarring that does occur to fade considerably with time although there is an individual variation in healing time and scar formation.
What side effects exist with Otoplasty?
Every patient is different, in general, no major complications are normally expected in an otoplasty procedure. However, some small degree of bleeding and bruising may occur.
Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions will reduce the risk of this and any other complications. As normally the two sides of a persons head are naturally different, perfect symmetry between the two sides post operatively is not always able to be obtained.
What age is Otoplasty normally administered on children?
There is no set age for the procedure to be carried out, however, the operation is usually performed after the age of 5 or 6 years. This time frame usually corresponds with the time when children will be starting school and where potential issues of being perceived as ‘different’ from other classmates may arise.
Is a general anaesthetic required for an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty may be performed under local or general anaesthesia. For children, a general anaesthetic is required.
Can I remain with my child during the procedure?
You may remain with your child up until he or she goes into the operating room for the actual procedure. At this point in time, their care will be passed to the trained medical staff. You will be able to see your child again immediately following the procedure and when any necessary post-operative procedures and checks have been completed.