Prominent ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, reduces the prominence of ears that stick out. The surgery reshapes or removes the ear cartilage. This is achieved by creating an incision behind the ear crease. As a result, the ears become closer to the side of the head. Dr Cope performs the surgery on both children and adults.
Who are the best candidates for otoplasty?
The surgery may not be suitable for everyone. During your initial consultation, we will assess your ear condition and health history. We will then create a treatment plan that best suits your goals.
You are a good candidate for ear reshaping procedure if:
- You are physically and mentally healthy.
- You don’t have a medical condition that can affect healing.
- You don’t smoke.
- You don’t like the prominence of your ears.
- You have realistic expectations of what the surgery can achieve.
In children, the minimum age for otoplasty should be at least five or six years old. This is because ears are not yet fully developed.
How will I prepare for the surgery?
Before your otoplasty surgery at Dr Cope clinic in Sydney you should:
- Stay fit as possible.
- Inform your surgeon about the medications you are taking and allergies you have.
- Stop smoking.
- Stop drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home and help with house chores.
- Prepare a recovery area at home.
During your consultation, our Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Charles Cope will provide you with detailed preoperative instructions for you to follow (see information sheet below).
How much does otoplasty cost in Sydney?
The cost of the surgery may vary. This is because every patient’s ear condition and treatment plan are unique. In general, the total costs of the procedure will depend on several factors such as:
- Anaesthetist’s fees
- Hospital fees
- Surgeon’s fees
- The complexity of the surgery
If otoplasty procedure is performed to correct an ear deformity or congenital abnormality and before the age of 18 years old, some of your surgical costs may be covered by Medicare or your private health insurance. Before undergoing the surgery, you should contact your insurance provider for more information.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgery is performed through an incision behind your ear. This will expose the underlying ear cartilage. Dr Cope will then reshape the ear by folding and stitching the cartilage in place, and sometimes by removing excess cartilage. Once the desired ear appearance is achieved, the incisions will be then closed with sutures.
Will I need anaesthesia?
Otoplasty surgery is performed under general anaesthesia for both children and adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
General risks and complications associated with the otoplasty surgery are:
- Reaction to anaesthetic
- Bruising and swelling around the incision sites
- Delayed healing
- Changes in skin sensation
- Raised and thickened scars
- Recurrence of ear prominence
Most otoplasty patients go home the same day, although occasionally patients need to stay overnight*.
Just like any invasive surgery, scars will develop after the procedure. The surgical scars will lighten over time and usually become unnoticeable*, although occasionally they need further treatment. Our highly experienced surgeon, Dr Charles Cope, uses the most advanced techniques to ensure that the incisions are well-hidden. This in turn produces natural and discreet results.
To help speed up your recovery, you should:
- Keep the ears clean and dry.
- Use two to three pillows when sleeping to elevate your head.
- Avoid scratching your ears.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for two to three weeks.
- Avoid contact sports for one month.
- Wear a protective headband at night for a month.
You may return to school, work, or daily routine after one week*. However, you will need to strictly follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to prevent complications.
There are some temporary bruising and swelling on your ears which can last for a few weeks weeks, although you will notice a difference immediately. After your otoplasty surgery, there is always some forward movement of your ears since the cartilage is elastic.
Usually the results of ear surgery are permanent after one month, although occasionally they can become more prominent again over time*.
*Note results vary from patient to patient