Ear correction (otoplasty)

Ears come in many shapes, sizes and prominence but some children and adults, with otherwise normal ears, feel that theirs mark them out as different. The most common concern is with so called prominent ears. The surgeons at Bristol Plastic Surgery will sympathetically offer a plastic surgery procedure called an otoplasty or more usually, correction of prominent ears.

Prices start from £2,600

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Preparation for surgery

Ears come in many shapes, sizes and prominence but some children and adults, with otherwise normal ears, feel that theirs mark them out as different. The most common concern is with so called prominent ears and BPS surgeons will sympathetically offer a plastic surgery procedure called an otoplasty or more usually, correction of prominent ears.

Procedure

Children will usually have a general anaesthetic and adults local anaesthetic. The operation will last about 90 minutes. An incision is made behind the ear with the eventual line scar lying in the crease or close to it. Sutures, carefully placed and tensioned, will reposition and alter the shape of the ear. Sometimes a little cartilage requires to be removed. After closing with sutures, the ears are carefully splinted and cushioned in a dressing which covers both ears and wraps around the head. You will go home later the same day.

Aftercare

The operation is not a painful one, but there may be some discomfort. This is best controlled with paracetamol.

The bandage should remain in place for one week when it will be removed along with any non-dissolving sutures. The hair and the area behind the ears can now be gently washed taking care not to push the ears forward and to avoid rubbing.

At night, a sports headband must be worn for 6 weeks. This is to protect the ears and prevent them being distorted on the pillow.

Implications

There will be a little bruising and swelling around the ears and the nearby neck. Children should take a week off school and when they return, should not go into the playground for a further week. Children and adults should avoid contact sports and activities, including swimming for 6 weeks after the operation. Adults can return to work as soon as the head bandage is removed.

The rim of the ear may be numb for 6 – 9 months after surgery and care should be taken to avoid burning with hair dryers and in the sun. Use sunblock for about a year after the operation. The scar should lie out of sight behind the ear but can also benefit from sun cream.

Expectations

You will have in your mind an image of how you expect your breasts to look in terms of size, shape, cleavage and symmetry. While we will do our utmost to match those expectations and aspirations, it is not possible to give precise predictions. The same implant will produce differing changes in different patients. Where hopes are clearly not achievable, we offer advice on what is practical within the constraints of your tissues and good aesthetics. There can be no concept of a guarantee as to the outcome.

Occasionally a patient becomes accustomed to her new larger breasts and may seek further enlargement. Fortunately, the tissues respond to the presence of the implants and it may be possible to increase the implant size after several months. Very occasionally, the patient cannot adjust to the larger breast volume and despite no other reason wishes the implants removed. The patient must accept the cost implications of this further surgery whether as a result of a complication or unmet expectations.

Despite all these necessary cautions, we hope and expect you to have a trouble free and enjoyable experience from breast augmentation. BPS likes to keep in contact and we ask you to make an appointment for a free of charge outpatient review every two years.

Complications

As with any operation, there is a small risk of infection and of a blood collection under the skin. The latter would require a procedure to remove the blood as soon as it is discovered. Neither are common occurrences.

The scar which lies out of sight behind the ear can occasionally become red, raised and itchy. This condition is called hypertrophic scarring and if you know you have such a tendency please tell your surgeon. This may require some local treatment over the following months. The incidence is between 1 – 2 %.

Major complications such as cartilage or skin loss can occur but are very rare. Smoking impairs the skin blood supply and like the drugs mentioned in General Advice, can also increase the risk of bleeding.