Absolutely anyone with prominent ears is a candidate for this procedure.
Ear correction surgery is a very common procedure and can involve various types of re-shaping of the external ear. The two most common procedures either brings the ears closer to the head (commonly called ear pinning), or makes the ears smaller by reconstruction. Because ears are one of the first parts of the body to develop to their full adult size from a very early age, this is a procedure that can be performed on children as young as 5 years old.
Often children are teased for having protruding ears. Adults might find it awkward to wear glasses or hats and feel reluctant to wear their hair up. If you genuinely dislike the way your ears look, this is a relatively uncomplicated procedure worth considering.
You must keep in mind that while ears are a prominent feature of the head and face, changing them will not necessarily alter your overall appearance. After the procedure, people may not even notice that your ears have changed at all.
If only one ear protrudes both ears are altered in order to ensure they balance.
The length of time needed to perform this operation largely depends on the complexity of your ears. If the surgeon has a lot of ‘pinning’ to do, the operation will take more time. The surgery usually takes about an hour. Traditionally, an incision is made just behind the ear. Excess skin and cartilage is removed, and the ear is reattached. Often no skin or cartilage is removed, and the ears are simply stitched to the skin with small sutures.
Most ear correction operations are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will more than likely be sent home a couple of hours after recovering from the effects of anaesthesia.
There are a number of things you can do leading up to any kind of surgery to improve the experience. There are also a number of things you can do following any surgery.
Specific things to do after your ear correction surgery:
Swelling and bruising are common after surgery, but they should start to disappear after a few days. Itching is also common as nerve endings are inevitably cut. This will resolve as the nerves regenerate. You will have a thin white scar behind your ear, which will be almost undetectable.
You should expect to be back to work and most normal activities a few days after ear correction surgery. Aerobic activities can be resumed after about 3 weeks.
The risks associated with having an ear correction procedure are quite rare. However as with all surgery, complications can still sometimes occur.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the full list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.
Specific complications that may occur after ear correction surgery:
Your surgeon, anaesthetist and hospital costs will vary, however, a rough indication on how much this procedure usually costs is somewhere between $4000 and $5000 (AUD). Some private health insurers in Australia may help with hospital bed and theatre fees. Having a doctor’s referral will enable you to claim some of the cost.
You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined procedures at the same time.
This information is correct as of 2017.