Ear Correction (Pinnaplasty)
Pinnaplasty is an operation to reshape or reposition prominent ears. It does not reduce the size of the ear but by repositioning the ear relative to the side of the head, the operation can help to reduce the prominence of noticeable ears.
Who is suitable for pinnaplasty?
Pinnaplasty is usually performed on people, including children, with large, prominent ears that can be re-positioned to make the ears appear smaller - although they are not physically reduced in size.
By reshaping and/or repositioning the ears, patients are often less self-conscious and have an improved self-esteem.
What to expect at the initial consultation
At a first consultation, your surgeon will ask you to tell him in your own words what it is that you wish to change about your appearance. It is important to be honest and forthright as surgery is always tailored to your specific needs and expectations. Do bear in mind, however, that it is not possible to achieve unrealistic expectations.
In addition, your surgeon will take a full medical history including any previous surgery, cosmetic or non-cosmetic, previous hospitalisation, chronic medical problems, medication and allergies, whether you smoke or not, the reasons for wanting the procedure and your goals and aspirations.
The examination will concentrate on your proposed treatment, but also assess your general fitness and suitability for surgery. Routine photographs will be taken.
Following the assessment, your surgeon will discuss all available options and formulate an operative plan, including type of surgery and anaesthesia to be used and cost. Any risks and possible complications will also be discussed with you.
It is important that you are clear what your surgery will entail. Well informed patients cope better with surgery and you have the right to ask any question you want and expect your surgeon to answer with honesty and without the use of jargon. Informed consent for surgery will also be required.
Where does the treatment take place?
You will be admitted as an inpatient to New Victoria Hospital.
The surgery can be carried out under a general or local anaesthetic. If a general anaesthetic is required, your Consultant Anaesthetist will see you on the day of surgery. The surgery takes approximately an hour and a half. The incisions are behind the ear and dissolvable stitches are used.
What can go wrong?
If performed by a fully qualified and accredited Plastic Surgeon in a proper operating theatre under sterile conditions on a relatively fit and healthy patient, pinnaplasty is a safe procedure. In general, complications are rare and pinnaplasty is associated with a very high degree of patient satisfaction. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications and these will be explained to you at your consultation.
How long does it take to recover?
You will wake up with a head bandage on and you should be quite comfortable as local anaesthetic will be used to numb the ears. You will be asked to sit up as much as possible. This procedure is usually carried out as a day case admission, you will spend the rest of the day in your room and you will be discharged towards the end of the day. You should arrange to be collected from hospital as you will not be able to drive yourself home.
Arrangements will be made for you to see an experienced Plastic Surgery Nurse after one week to have your head dressing removed and your wounds cleaned.
Return to work is usually between one to two weeks.
It is advisable to make arrangements for help at home during your convalescence, which should be at least the first fortnight, especially if you have young children.
Although the ears initially appear bruised, the colour and bruising and swelling settle down very quickly.
Contact sports should be avoided for four to six weeks following surgery and strenuous activity should be avoided which could increase your blood pressure for approximately four weeks.
Your surgeon can discuss the exact nature of your treatment, including procedure details, recovery times and any possible side-effects at a consultation. This will reflect your exact circumstances and needs. The information included here is provided for general guidance only.