Otoplasty or Ear Surgery
Otoplasty is a Plastic Surgery procedure that reshapes the contour of the ear to reduce its prominence.
Ears form early during embryological development and reach 80% Adult size at age 6. Prominent ear deformity (Bat Ears) is an unfortunate development that can lead to teasing of children at a school age. Dr. Jack Zoumaras can set the ears back as early as age 5 and is one of the few plastic surgeons in Australia to specifically do a fellowship in ear surgery with world renowned ear surgeon Francoise Firmin in Paris.
The surgery involves an incision behind the ear. The cartilage is then accessed, manipulated and set back with sutures to contour the ear to a more attractive natural position.
Otoplasty is a plastic surgery operation to correct prominent ears or bat ear deformity as referred to be Medicare. The term “Oto” is Greek for ear and “plasty” is Greek for to mould and to shape.
The downtime is approximately 5 days and the procedure itself takes 70 minutes and is day surgery. It is expected for the patient to have a head bandage for 5 days followed by wearing a sweat ban for night sleeping over the next 6 weeks. The use of the sweat ban is to prevent movement of the ear while sleeping.
What is the minimum age?
5 years of age is the minimum age of a Otoplasty Prominent ear correction as the child understands the process and what the surgery will achieve. Any younger and you are causing unnecessary anxiety for your child. Teasing tends to begin in primary school and as such this is the time to consider surgery. It is imperative that the child wants it done also and not just the parents. They need to understand the surgery and recovery phase and they will be more invested in the post operative care.
The oldest person I operated on was 64 and she said “I have waited 60 years for this surgery”.
An Otoplasty has the ability to significantly improve the psycho social welfare of the individual and encourage children and young Adults to wear there hair short or up.
An Otoplasty involves re-shaping the cartilage by either cutting or suturing the cartilage. Prominent ears have three features that are common and include lack of anti-helical fold, conchal excess and increase scapha-concha angle and scapho-mastoid angle. Essentially increase in distance from ear to scalp and lack of normal ear contours.
The surgery involves correcting each of these deformities by either cutting the cartilage to set it back or suturing the cartilage to set it back. Often a combination of these two methods is performed. The cartilage is accessed through an incision behind the ear.
OTHER EAR ANOMALIES
Prominent ears or Bat ears are part of a spectrum of conditions that affect the external ear. In some cases a smaller ear with some minor cartilage imperfections occur. This ear deformity is termed a constricted ear. A constricted ear can be just smaller, it may be smaller and prominent. A lop ear or telephone ear is the term used. The ear may be partly hidden and called cryptotia or the ear may have a third crus. All these ear anomalies can be repaired and fixed with surgery. The surgery involves drawing the normal ear and if both ears are affected drawing the parents ear and estimating what is missing and where. Cartilage from the ear or rib cartilage can then be used to reconstruct the ear to a normal size and shape and of course correct any prominence as constructed ears are often prominent.
An Otoplasty costs approximately $6000 for the surgery. Anaesthetic costs and hospital costs may be covered by a health fund with a referral.
48 Year Old Bilateral Otoplasty
67 Year Old Bilateral Otoplasty
The procedure will be illustrated in detail and you will be given a detailed instruction sheet on expected post-operative course and potential complications during your consultation with Dr Jack Zoumaras.
It is advised to stop smoking at least 6 weeks before and after surgery.
You will go home the same day but would be required to wear a custom-made head bandage to protect the surgery. After one week sutures will be removed and it is recommended for the patient to wear a headband for 6 weeks.
The first 6 weeks of a baby’s life represents a time that with custom made ear tapes a prominent ear deformity may be resolved non-surgically.
At Artiste Plastic Surgery we perform Otoplasty from 5 years of age as the child can participate and understand what is happening with the surgery and the recovery.