Otoplasty or Pinnaplasty refers to ear surgery, often the surgical correction of ears, to help reshape and/or pin ears for the desired look. This treatment involves a surgeon making an incision behind your ear or ears before removing some skin from around the cartilage, in turn helping to allow your ears to sit closer to your head before stitching (pinning) them in place.
Why Do People Get Otoplasty?
Patients may opt for otoplasty if their ears stick out significantly from their head and the patient is unhappy with this appearance. Otoplasty and Ear surgery may also be considered if one’s ear or ears are misshapen due to an injury or congenital disability.
The Otoplasty Procedure Explained
The otoplasty procedure usually takes between 1 and 2 hours and can be done under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the specific case in question. If a local anaesthetic is used, patients can likely go home the same day.
The surgeon will:
- Make a small cut behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage
- Remove small pieces of cartilage if necessary
- Put stitches at the back of the ear to reshape or position it closer to the head
You may need a bandage around your head to help your ears heal in their new position and protect them from infection.
What Are The Risks of Otoplasty and Ear Surgery?
The risks of otoplasty should always be discussed in length with the surgeon performing the procedure. Risks of otoplasty and ear surgery can include:
- Bleeding, bruising
- Scars – often in natural skin folds but cannot be guaranteed
- Numbness of the ears
It is recommended to keep the dressing in place for one week; you may feel some discomfort and itching.
Please note: often, results cannot be fully judged until 6-12 months post-procedure.
How Much Does Otoplasty Cost?
- In the UK, ear correction surgery may cost between £2,500 to £3,500, plus the cost of any consultations or follow-up care that may be needed.
- The NHS offers this procedure to children (above 5 years old) with prominent defects.