EAR PINNING (OTOPLASTY)
Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)
Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. A defect in the ear structure that is present at birth or that becomes apparent with development can be corrected by otoplasty. This procedure can also treat misshapen ears caused by injury.
Otoplasty creates a more natural shape while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound beneﬁts to appearance and self-esteem. If protruding or disﬁgured ears bother you or your child, you may consider plastic surgery.
What can ear surgery treat:
Overly large ears – a condition called macrotia
Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees – not associated with hearing loss
Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery
Types of Ear Correction Surgeries
Because every patient has a different type of ear, there are different types of ear correction surgery. These are:
Ear augmentation: This type is done if the pinna is undeveloped or doesn’t exist, known as microtia.
Otopexy: This type is done to flatten the protruding ears.
Ear reduction: This is done to reduce the pinna. If the ears are too big, this is known as macrotia.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ What is the difference between Otoplasty & Pinnaplasty?
There is no difference between the two procedures. They are two different names that describe the same surgery, and are both also known as “ear pinning”.
+ When can I wear glasses again?
As you will have to wear a headband after the procedure, you cannot wear glasses at the same time. You will need to wear the headband day and night for 5 to 7 days, and for up to a month after surgery whilst you are sleeping. You should therefore wait until you no longer need to wear your headband to resume wearing your glasses again. This is so that you do not alter the newly set position and shape of your ears. This will usually be 3 weeks after surgery, but can take longer. You should therefore consider buying prescription contact lenses for this time period.
+ Will an ear pinning affect my hearing?
It is extremely unlikely that an ear pinning procedure will affect your hearing. The ear is made up of 3 parts: the outer ear (the pinna), the middle ear and the inner ear. All 3 parts contribute to hearing, but it is mainly the middle and inner ear that affect it.
The pinna is the only part that your surgeon will operate on during your ear pinning. The role of the pinna is simply to carry the sound waves into the middle and inner ear to allow you to hear. It is therefore unlikely that surgery to this area will affect your hearing.
+ What are the steps of a ear surgery procedure ?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Correction of protruding ears uses surgical techniques to create or increase the antihelical fold (just inside the rim of the ear) and to reduce enlarged conchal cartilage (the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear). Incisions for otoplasty are generally made on the back surface of the ear. When incisions are necessary on the front of the ear, they are made within its folds to hide them. Internal, nonremovable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
External stitches close the incision. Techniques are individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural “pinned back” appearance.
Step 4 – See the results
Ear surgery offers near immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible once the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well hidden within the natural creases of the ear.
Aftercare for Cosmetic Ear Surgery
The instructions below are common information to be followed before and after an otoplasty surgery.
This procedure may be done with local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia. If the patient is having another procedure (breast augmentation, vaser liposuction etc.), then the otoplasty also will be done under general anaesthesia. If the otoplasty procedure will be done on its own, then there is a chance of it being done under local anaesthesia.
Surgery will be CANCELLED if there is any possibility that the patient is pregnant or the patient has health problems (the anaesthesiologist will check before the patient is taken to the operating room).
Two Weeks Before Surgery:
Stop alcohol and nicotine intake. Nicotine affects the blood circulation and this could affect the result of your procedure and increase the risk of complication with anaesthesia.
Don’t take any products containing ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication or Vitamin E.
One Day Before Surgery:
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT.
Day of The Surgery:
Patients can have a shower before going to the hospital.
Patients shouldn’t have any makeup on. There shouldn’t be any product on their hair, nail varnish and false eyelashes need to be removed.
Patients should pack a bag of loose-fitting clothes (zip ups, clothes that don’t need to go over the head) and comfortable shoes.
Patients shouldn’t wear jewelry.
Patients shouldn’t smoke and shouldn’t drink alcohol for 2 weeks.
First two weeks, sleep with your head elevated and sleep on your back. Some otoplasty patients have only mild pain or the feeling of burning.
Take all medicines as instructed by your surgeon. Take your pain medication before your pain becomes severe.
Bruising and mild swelling is normal.
In the first 24 hours, a bit of bleeding and oozing is from the incision area is normal.
Whilst you are awake, walk every 1-2 hour.
Small ice packs can be put on the ears (15 minutes on and 15 minutes off).
Mild temperature rise is very normal the first 72 hours after surgery. Most temperature rises respond to walking and doing the breathing exercises
Some patients will have a turban like dressing around the head and ears postoperatively. This should be left alone until the first post op visit, when Clinic Center plastic surgeon will remove this for the first dressing change.
Some patients might need small drains left in place, and it will be removed by the doctor. If the patient has these, our doctor will give the necessary instructions about drains.
For 10-14 days after surgery, heavy lifting, bending over, heavy aerobics, weight lifting, and sexual activity should be avoided. Patients may in time take on those more vigorous activities after 10 days post-op but if there are any concerns, this should be checked with the surgeon.
How to take care of the incisions?
Patients shouldn’t touch the area and shouldn’t rub the ears.
If the patient needs to use the hair dryer after surgery, they shouldn’t use the hot or warm setting. Because the skin is numb, burns may occur. Patients should use the cool setting only.
Unless said otherwise, patients who have the otoplasty surgery will be staying at the hospital for the night, and the surgery is performed under general anaesthesia (unless said otherwise). It is very important for the patients to stick to their plastic surgeon’s instructions to ensure their healing process goes as it should.
60 to 90 mins
0 – 1 night
Usually local, but sometimes general is used
3 – 6 months