A child or adult that has prominent ears can suffer from image issues for many years. Large or protruding ears may result in patients growing their hair or wearing hats to feel more comfortable. Having ears that are highly noticeable also tends to affect both your professional and social life. Fortunately, protruding ears are not something you need to live with.
Otoplasty, at a glance
Target area: Protruding ears
Time off work: 1-2 weeks
Total recovery: 6-weeks
Compression garment: Four weeks for adults (six weeks for children)
Scar position: Behind the ear where the ear meets the head
What is Otoplasty surgery
Ear pinning (or Otoplasty) is a surgical procedure that changes the size and shape of the ears, often placing them closer to the head. While it’s most commonly performed between the ages of five and 14, it can also be performed on adults of any age. Children need to be at least five years of age because this is when the cartilage of the ear will be fully developed. This is a highly practical procedure that can permanently improve the appearance of your ears.
Ear surgery procedure
Otoplasty begins with an incision made behind the ear. While a general anaesthetic can be used, a local anaesthetic is usually the preferred choice. Once the incision is made, the cartilage is re-shaped and the ears are sutured or “pinned back” into place. When the position and desired shape has been achieved, the ears are dressed and left to heal. The procedure takes one to two hours to complete. The exact length of the procedure will depend on your age, your ears and your desired outcome. Patients are free to return home after their procedure, provided someone is available to drive them home if a general anaesthetic was used.
Patients who also have stretched or torn earlobes can have them repaired at the same time. This will involve removing any excess, stretched skin and stitching the lobes back together. Once the ears have healed completely, patients are free to pierce them again.
Otoplasty recovery time
After Otoplasty, you can resume most normal activities within two weeks. For the first week, you need to keep your head elevated and cool. You will also need to avoid hair dryers and shampoos, at least until the bandages come off. Patients are also encouraged to stop smoking as this can slow down and affect the healing process. Before surgery, you will be given some post-operative instructions to follow once you’re home. Following these instructions is an important part of a successful procedure.
In most instances, the bandage that’s wrapped around the head after surgery will need to remain in place for about 10 days. From there, it will only be necessary to wear a headband at night until your ears have healed completely.
Patients can expect some minor itching and discomfort for about a month after their procedure but this can be managed with pain medication. An antibiotic will also need to be taken to prevent infection. Dr Doyle will also show you how to relieve some of the most common side effects after surgery. Scarring is not a cause for concern because the incisions are made behind the ears. What’s more, by implementing the right scar management techniques, scarring can be kept to a minimum.
Ear Plastic Surgery Before and Afters
Otoplasty with Dr Doyle from Gold Coast Plastic Surgery
When you have your initial consultation with Dr Doyle at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, he will assess your ears, and your expectations to determine the best approach to surgery. It’s important during your consultation that you are candid with Dr Doyle about what you hope to achieve from surgery. Part of a successful treatment is having realistic expectations.
How much does otoplasty cost?
The total cost of your procedure will depend on what needs to be achieved. The cost will include anaesthetist, surgeon and hospital fees. In some instances, this procedure is covered by Medicare. Dr Doyle can provide you with a more accurate estimate once your specific needs have been evaluated.
You can access our list of pricing resources to find about more about the cost of ear pinning surgery:
Are otoplasty results permanent?
Yes, otoplasty surgery is designed to produce lasting results. The only time that a second procedure is required is if the ears are damaged due to accident or trauma. This highlights the importance of keeping the ears protected after surgery and after recovery. Contact sports are a particular risk to those who’ve undergone otoplasty surgery.
Are there any risks associated with this procedure?
As with any type of surgery, otoplasty does carry some risks, which may include:
- Loss of skin sensation
Dr Doyle only uses proven techniques to pin back protruding ears and does everything possible to minimise risks and complications. Following his specific aftercare instructions will also help reduce the chances of complications. Dr Doyle will tell you exactly what to expect after your procedure.
If you would like to know more about this procedure, and what it can do for you, please contact us today.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.
As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
Do Your Research
What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
- Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
- Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation
Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
- Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
- Pay your $285 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.
Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
- Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS
*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.