Although there are no functional problems associated with prominent ears, the psychological distress it causes can become a problem. Changing the angle and shape of the ear through Otoplasty (ear correction) makes it appear less obvious.
Otoplasty is the surgical procedure performed to reduce prominent ears. In children with severe cases of the condition, it is best to perform the procedure early, preferably between the ages of 2 to 5 years old. Completion at an early age is beneficial in two respects: the cartilage is still extremely pliable, permitting greater ease of shaping; second, children will experience the psychological benefits from the cosmetic improvement. The majority of patients who undergo this operation are between 4 and 14 years old. Adults may also benefit from ear correction surgery and have the choice to combine it with other facial cosmetic procedures.
We recommend two consultation appointments with the patient (and parents, in the case of minors) to discuss concerns, objectives, details of the surgery, and any potential risk factors and complications. We also use this opportunity to ensure patients have a realistic expectation of what we are setting out to do. Dr. Graham Sellars and the entire team are committed to making sure you understand as much as possible through before and after photos of previous patients, supplemental reading material, and individual consultation.
The procedure involves cutting the skin behind the ear in an ellipse shape to expose the underlying cartilage. We then “score” the cartilage to make it more malleable. Although removal of a little piece of cartilage is necessary for some, most cases only require folding it back into a more natural shape. The wound is then closed with a dissolvable suture that doesn’t need to come out.
Post Operative Care
A bandage wrap around the head is necessary immediately after surgery to hold the surgical dressings in place. You must keep the wrap in place until your first follow-up appointment. Dr. Graham Sellars will also prescribe pain relief medication, as you will experience mild to moderate discomfort for a couple of days after the procedure. We strongly advise patients not to take any medication with aspirin, as this can thin the blood and cause bruising and bleeding.
Patients can expect to see some swelling and bruising following the operation, but these will subside within a week or two. Headbands should be worn at night three weeks after dressing removal. Adults may return to work and children to school after removal of the dressing and bandage. Although this is the case, some tenderness may remain for a couple of weeks and patients must refrain from strenuous exercise and smoking.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Graham Sellars today to learn more about ear corrections and if it is right for you. Call us today at 02 9473 8577 or fill out the form on our contact page to request an appointment.