Prominent ear surgery (otoplasty) corrects the shape and position of prominent ears to gain a natural appearance.
Patients typically have had prominent ears from birth and present when they become a cosmetic concern to either themselves or their parents. Some children and adults have been subjected to teasing which affects their self-esteem and confidence. Following prominent ear surgery patients often gain a profound and positive psychological change.
Chris Porter has an interest in corrective ear surgery and has undertaken specialist training on ear abnormality corrective surgery in Los Angeles. He has internationally published on the cause of ear abnormalities and simplified the approach to classifying the wide array of ear problems.
Individuals are good candidates for surgery if they are healthy non-smokers and do not have conditions or take medicines that may impair healing. Individuals need to have realistic expectations and understand that prominent ear surgery does result in scarring, that although permanent are an acceptable trade-off for the improvement in ear shape.
To start, at your pre surgical consultation you will meet Chris Porter and together discuss your personal goals, medical health and previous treatments, surgery and anaesthesia. A list of your current medications is required but you do not need a referral from your family doctor. Your ear characteristics will be examined and explained to you. At the end of the consultation you will have discussed:
You will also have the opportunity to satisfy any nervousness or personal concerns, you should be comfortable discussing your feelings during the consultation. Remember, your individual goals are specific to you but are also commonly experienced by other plastic surgery patients.
Adult prominent ear surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia and tolerated without the need for sedation as a rooms based procedure. This creates an easier pre- and post-surgery recovery for patients and in addition reduces the overall cost of the procedure.
Child prominent ear surgery usually requires general anaesthesia as a hospital based procedure as it is not tolerated well under local anaesthesia alone.
On the day of surgery you will be admitted to the rooms or hospital depending on your anaesthetic requirements. If you need to be admitted to hospital for a general anaesthetic you will be assessed by the Anaesthetist who may administer medication to settle any pre-surgical nervousness. Chris Porter will perform pre-surgical markings and take photographs for your personal file. Following this, you will be transferred to the operating room where you will meet the surgical team and then your anaesthetic will be started. While you are under the anaesthetic your surgery will be performed and you will be given pain relief medication so you are comfortable following the anaesthetic. If you have had local anaesthetic surgery at the rooms you will be able to leave following the completion of your surgery, however you will need to have someone drive you home. If you have had general anaesthetic surgery, after completion of your surgery and anaesthetic you will be transferred to the ward where the nurses will keep you comfortable and guide your recovery. Typically you will have a one day hospital stay and on discharge you will be provided with pain relief medication. In both situations you will be provided with instructions to optimise your recovery as well as post-operative appointments.
You will have some post-surgical bruising, swelling and discomfort which will subside towards the end of the first week. During this time you need to rest at home to minimise swelling, bruising and as well as optimising your wound healing. Your head bandage dressings need to be kept dry until the first dressing change which is performed one week after surgery. Typically you will be able to return to school or work in the second week after surgery. I recommend that general activity is limited to gentle walking for the first four weeks and for you to avoid any contact sports that could traumatise the ears.
Whether the surgery is performed under general or local anaesthetic, the procedure can be performed as a day procedure. Following the surgery the patient has a head bandage which provides protection to the ears. The head bandage is usually kept in place for a week before the first wound check. After this point no further dressings are typically required.
Following the surgery, some discomfort is expected within the first twenty four to seventy two hours but this is usually easily managed with simple forms of pain relief such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.