Otoplasty – or bat ear surgery – is the repositioning of protruding ears closer to the head to bring the facial features into better balance.
Many people with protruding ears often learn to hide them from a young age, be it with a hat or hairstyles, to avoid unkind remarks. Indeed, prominent or protruding ears is a common condition, affecting around one in 20 people.
Otoplasty is most often performed on children however it is suited to anyone troubled by the appearance of their ears, no matter what their age.
How is otoplasty surgery performed?
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision at the back of the ear so that the cartilage is exposed. The cartilage is then sculpted and bent back, pulling the ears closer to the head and making them less noticeable.
Typical timeline for an otoplasty procedure:
- The procedure usually takes one to two hours.
- In young children it is usually performed under general anaesthetic. In older children and adults, a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation may be used.
- After the surgery, a bandage is wrapped around the patient’s head to help with moulding and healing. This stays on for approximately a week.
- A lighter and smaller headband is usually worn during sleep for the next two to three weeks.
- In most cases the incision leaves a faint scar at the back of the ear, which fades over time.
- You can usually return to work/school after five to seven days but strenuous activity or contact sports must be avoided for a few weeks.