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Bat Ears

Otoplasty refers to surgery performed to correct prominent ears by setting them back closer to the head. The aim of the surgery is to create a more pronounced fold in the central portion of the ear by remodelling the cartilage. The operative technique will vary depending on your physical features and your surgeon’s methods. Generally, skin is removed from behind the ear, part of the cartilage is folded or removed and the ear is allowed to blend naturally towards the side of the head. Following a successful otoplasty you (or your child) can expect a more ‘normal’ appearance with ears being positioned more closely against the head.

Your surgeon at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will discuss the results that you can personally expect with you at your initial consultation.

What is an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty refers to surgery performed to correct prominent ears by setting them back closer to the head.

How is Otoplasty performed?
The operative technique will vary depending on your physical features and your surgeons methods. The aim is to create a more pronounced fold in the central portion of the ear by remodelling cartilage. Skin is removed from behind the ear, part of the cartilage is folded or removed and the ear is allowed to bend naturally towards the side of the head.

What results can I expect?
Following a successful otoplasty you can expect a more ‘normal’ shape with ears being positioned more closely against the head.

Is an Otoplasty suitable for me?
The decision to go ahead with an aesthetic procedure is a very personal one – particularly when you are making that decision on behalf of a child. The first step is a consultation with one of the qualified plastic surgeons at the Aesthetic Day Surgery. Whatever your reasons you should frankly discuss your personal goals and expectations with respect to the outcome of the procedure (both physical and emotional) with your surgeon. As with any aesthetic surgery you should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.

How long will the procedure take?
Depending on the extent of the procedure, bat ear correction surgery may last anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 hours. However, please keep in mind that this is only actual surgical time. To ensure the highest standard of personalised patient care, attention to detail and results, the Aesthetic Day Surgery requires you to spend appropriate time both immediately before and after the procedure within the Day Surgery. Additional time may need to also be taken with children. (Note: this time would be in addition to your initial and follow up consultations with an ADS Surgeon).

How long will it take me (or my child) to recover following an Otoplasty?
Recovery times do vary from one patient to the next although in general recovery is rapid. Upon discharge you will have a head bandage which will need to be worn for up to 1-2 weeks and will need to rest for this period of time. Post-operative pain after the first 24-48 hours should be minimal and if pain persists the surgeon should be consulted. It is also usual for the ears to be slightly swollen and bruised when the bandages are first removed although this should return to normal over the next couple of weeks.

Most patients are able to return to school or work in one week but should avoid sport and strenuous exercise for up to 6-8 weeks. Due to the nature of some playground activities, parents will need to take special care of children who have recently undergone the procedure to ensure appropriate healing time and to minimise any potential complications.

Will the procedure leave any scars?
The advanced surgical techniques applied by the surgeons at the Aesthetic Day Surgery are designed to minimise (and where possible eliminate) all visible scarring. Surgical incisions are usually made behind the ear itself – resulting in no (or minimal) visible scarring. In general, you can expect any scarring that does occur to fade considerably with time although there is an individual variation in healing time and scar formation.

What side effects or potential complications exists with Otoplasty?
While each patient is different, in general no major complications are normally expected in an otoplasty procedure. However, some small degree of bleeding and bruising may occur. On rare occasions a set back ear may protrude again necessitating a second procedure. Following your surgeons post-operative instructions will reduce the risk of this and any other complications. As normally the two sides of a persons head are naturally different, perfect symmetry between the two sides post operatively is not always able to be obtained. Your surgeon at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will discuss side effects and any potential complications directly with you at your initial consultation.

At what age is an Otoplasty normally carried out on children?
There is no set age for the procedure to be carried out, however the operation is usually performed after the age of 5 or 6 years. This time frame usually corresponds with the time when children will be starting school and where potential issues of being perceived as ‘different’ from other classmates may arise.

Can all Otoplasty procedures be carried out at the Aesthetic Day Surgery?
Otoplasty procedures are usually performed as Day Cases at the Aesthetic Day Surgery. In appropriate instances some otoplasty operations are performed by an Aesthetic Day Surgery surgeon at St. George Private Hospital or Kareena Private Hospital. Many parents prefer the Day Surgery as it allows their child to return home with them that evening following the procedure.

Is a general anaesthetic required for an Otoplasty?
Otoplasty may be performed under local or general anaesthesia. For children a general anaesthetic is required.

Can I remain with my child during the procedure?
You may remain with your child up until he or she goes into the operating room for the actual procedure. At this point in time their care will be passed to the trained medical staff. You will be able to see your child again immediately following the procedure and when any necessary post operative procedures and checks have been completed. Staff at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will be able to keep you informed of exactly what is happening throughout your childs time at the Aesthetic Day Surgery.