Otolplasty (The Ears)
Ear Correction or Otoplasty is a simple procedure which can correct torn earlobes or, more commonly, reposition protruding ears closer to the head. Although this operation can also be performed on children aged 5 years and over, The London Welbeck Hospital will not admit anyone under the age of 18.
This surgery is very common amongst both men and women who have been uncomfortable with the shape and position of their ears for years. Many people find that they have always grown long hair as a means of covering their ears and that protruding ears have been a source of embarrassment all their lives. This procedure is very straightforward and quick, and afterwards it’s possible to have that haircut that has always been dreamed of!
The operation is takes place through an incision made at the back of the ear, which exposes the cartilage to be operated on. It is then sculpted, removed or folded, depending upon what is needed, to make the ear look more aesthetically pleasing. Sutures are used to stitch the cartilage together. The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours and is usually performed under general or local anaesthetic.
A bandage will be applied which should remain in place for at least 3 days. Only after that time may the patient’s hair and ears be gently washed under a shower. When the bandage is removed some swelling or bruising may be apparent. This should subside after a few days. Pain is usually experienced for the first 24 hours and some patients’ sleep may be disturbed for the first week or so. After the removal of the first bandage a second bandage should be applied to the head each night for two weeks. The sutures will be removed on the seventh day. The ears may feel stiff for up to four or five weeks but will then become soft and pliable. It is also important to attend post-operative consultations.
Every ear correction can be performed with a local anaesthetic, this means that you are fit and well to go home soon after the procedure. Though if you prefer intravenous sedation can be administered. A general anaesthetic is absolutely unnecessary.With more effective pain relief a light form of anaesthetic is sufficient. In contrast to a general anaesthetic your breathing is not controlled mechanically. You breathe for yourself and swallow while you sleep, feeling no pain at all. A few hours after the operation you feel fine and are spared the often unpleasant side-effects of a general anaesthetic.
Local anaesthetic or intravenous sedation:
The ear is temporarily anaesthetised with a couple of injections behind the ear. Following the procedure you can go straight home. If you prefer to have the procedure performed under intravenous sedation then you will be admitted to the hospital for the day. This means additional cost. During the consultation the doctor will discuss with you which method is best in your particular case.
Aftercare and Recovery:
After your ear correction surgery you will be given special after care instructions. Each ear correction is different and each patient receives a specific tailor-made after care plan.We can say that in general your ears may be swollen after the treatment and there may be some bruising which will disappear after a few days. After 4 to 6 weeks the end result will be visible.