Procedure Ears can be reshaped with a procedure called pinnaplasty (=otoplasty / ear reduction / ear pinning / bat ear correction / prominent ear correction / sticking out ear correction). Prominent ears are caused by an underdeveloped ear fold (=antihelical fold) and by large mid–ears (=conchal bowls). They can cause cosmetic concerns and problems with headwear, helmets and headphones.
Ear folding is done through a cut in the crease behind the ear. The skin is elevated, and the cartilages are reshaped with cuts, cartilage removal and dissolving stitches.
Some patients like to have their ear size reduced. This can be combined with a folding procedure. A “T”–shaped cut across the ear rim (=helix) which extends in the rim fold (=scaphoid fossa) is used.
The wounds are repaired with sutures under the skin which don’t require removal and dissolve within four months. A head bandage has to be worn for a week afterwards and is then replaced with a head band to be worn at night or when engaging with sports.
Scars In the crease behind the ear for protruding ears. Across and under rim for large ears.
Operation time 1.5 hours
Anaesthesia Local
Hospital Stay Day Surgery
Benefits Cosmetic, Psychological, Functional
Risks Bleeding, Infection, Scar problems (stretched, thick, abnormal pigmentation, red, retracted etc.), Skin discoloration, Skin cones, Wound separation, Slough, Necrosis, Pain, Numbness, Bruising, Swelling, Overcorrection, Undercorrection, Asymmetry, Recurrent prominence, Sharp / straight ear folds, Cosmetic imperfections, Functional problems, Contour irregularities, Need for further surgery, Allergic reaction
N.B. Most complications are unlikely and serious risks are rare
Risk factors Smoking / high blood pressure, bleeding tendency, diabetes
Optimising factors Diet rich in Vitamin C and protein, plenty of fluids, fresh air, scar massage, sun protection, headband for 6-12 weeks
Discomfort 1 – 2 weeks
Bruising 2 – 3 weeks
Recovery Light activities and driving one week, Physical work & sports 6 weeks, Unrestricted 3 months
Acceptable appearance 2 – 4 weeks for most patients (This is subjective)
Final result 6 – 18 months
Alternatives No Surgery, Hair-styling, Ear-molding in young babies, Earfold device

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