Ear correction is a form of cosmetic surgery that alters the appearance of the ears. The surgery can be done in various ways, including pinning the ears back, altering the size of the ears or altering the shape of the ears.
The surgery is called otoplasty, and it can be carried out on children, teenagers and adults. However the surgery is unsuitable for children under five as their ears are still developing.
Ear surgery is normally done by a surgeon while the patient is under a local anaesthetic. The surgeon is usually an ear surgeon or a plastic surgeon, as they are well practised in altering the appearance of ears.
The surgery involves making a cut in the skin to expose ear cartilage, and then small parts of the cartilage will be removed. Once the cartilage has been removed the surgeon will stitch the skin into the ideal shape.
The whole operation takes between one and two hours depending on the patient, and it is a relatively simple procedure that carries few risks and complications. Patients are normally allowed to go home on the same day as their operation, but you may be kept overnight if your surgeon is worried about possible complications.
Aftercare and Recovering
Although the procedure is relatively simple it can take a few weeks to months for the ears to fully heal. During the first couple of days after the operation you may notice that your ears feel very tender to touch, or they may feel completely numb. Some patients report a slight tingling sensation in their ears. None of these feelings are cause for concern, as the nerves in your ear may be forming new connections which can cause the ear to feel painful, tingly or numb.
Most patients are advised to wear a bandage on their head for the first few days to protect the wounds from infection. During this time you will not be able to wash your hair, as the dirty water could easily cause an infection.
Your surgeon may also recommend that you wear a soft headband at night over the ears to help protect the wounds as you sleep.
Your ears will be slightly bruised for a few weeks after the surgery, but the bruises will soon go down and disappear completely.
After about a week you will be asked to go back to the hospital so that nurses can remove any remaining stiches and make sure that your ears are healing well. If you have any questions about your recovery you can speak to the nurse.
It is important to note that you should avoid swimming and any other activities that could damage the ears (such as rugby) for at least a few weeks.
The Cost of the Operation
The cost of ear correction surgery can vary between £2,500 and £3,500, but this can go higher if you require numerous consultations. The NHS also provide the operation for free, but this is only in very rare circumstances when the ears are causing the patient a significant amount of emotional distress.