Cosmetic Surgery

Otoplasty (Prominent Ear Correction): Enhancing Ear Position and Shape

Introduction to Otoplasty

Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning or prominent ear correction, is a surgical procedure designed to reshape or reposition the ears. This procedure, carried out in Tauranga or Whakatane, is often considered by individuals who are self-conscious about the prominence or protrusion of their ears. It's estimated that approximately 5% to 10% of the general population may have some degree of ear prominence.

During an otoplasty, Mr Butler makes an incision on the back of the ear to access the cartilage. The cartilage is then sculpted, reshaped, or removed as needed to achieve the desired results. The perception of ear prominence can be subjective, and what one person considers prominent may differ from another person's perception. If you are concerned about the appearance of your ears, Mr Butler can assess your specific case and provide guidance on whether otoplasty or other treatment options may be appropriate for you.

Key Details of the Procedure

  • Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Cost: $7500 in clinic, $15000 at Grace Hospital
  • Anaesthetic: Local anaesthetic or General anaesthetic
  • Length of stay: Day stay surgery

Post-Surgery Care and Downtime

  • Showering: You can shower the wounds the day after surgery.
  • Exercise: Light exercise can be resumed 1 week after surgery, strenuous exercise 2 weeks after surgery. Avoid contact sports for 6 weeks.
  • Driving: On the day of surgery if local anaesthetic is used. The day after surgery if general anaesthetic is used.
  • Work: You can return to desk-based work the day after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Otoplasty

Who is a good candidate for otoplasty?

Otoplasty is typically performed on individuals with prominent or protruding ears, as well as those with ear deformities or dissatisfaction with the shape of their ears. After the age of eight, when ears have reached 85% of their full size, is commonly considered a good time to consider otoplasty surgery.

What is the recovery period like after otoplasty?

After the surgery, you will need to wear a protective bandage or headband-like dressing for a week. Some swelling, discomfort, and bruising are normal and can be managed with pain medication and cold compresses. After the first week, you should wear a sports head bandage at night for a further 6 weeks.

Will there be visible scars after otoplasty?

The incisions for otoplasty are typically made behind the ears, in the natural creases, which helps to minimise the visibility of scars. Over time, the scars tend to fade and become less noticeable.

Are there any risks or potential complications associated with otoplasty?

Like any surgical procedure, otoplasty carries some risks and potential complications. These can include infection, bleeding, asymmetry, over or under correction, changes in sensation, unfavourable scarring, recurrence of the previous ear shape or dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcome. Mr Butler will discuss these risks with you at your consultation in Tauranga or Whakatane.

Will the results of otoplasty be permanent?

Otoplasty aims to achieve long-lasting results. However, it's important to keep in mind that the natural ageing process can still affect the appearance of the ears over time. Furthermore, in around 5-10% of cases, pulling the ear can cause it to try and return to its original shape.