Otoplasty refers to cosmetic surgery procedures carried out to alter the appearance of a person's ears. Most commonly known as ear reshaping, otoplasty is recognised as one of the oldest cosmetic surgery procedures, with a history dating back to the ancient world.

The ears are among the most prominent facial features, and many people suffer embarrassment from having ears that they believe are too large or stick out too far. Otoplasty can be comprised of a number of treatments designed to improve the look and shape of a person's ears, resulting in an appearance they are more satisfied with.

Otoplasty procedures

Patients choose otoplasty for a variety of reasons and the ears can be surgically enhanced in a number of ways - from ear pinning that brings ears closer to the head to reshaping of oversized ears. Otoplasty can also be performed as a reconstructive procedure for patients with damaged or deformed ears.

The otoplasty procedure involves removing or reshaping both the cartilage and skin of the outer ear (also known as the pinna). Depending on the reason for the otoplasty, the treatment usually lasts between two to three hours and is carried out under general anaesthesia.

Scarring from otoplasty is very minimal, and surgeons are usually able to conceal the signs of surgery in the natural folds of the ear.

Consultation and aftercare for otoplasty treatments

Following otoplasty, patients will need to protect their ears with bandages for around one week. After the bandages are removed, the results of the otoplasty will be visible instantly. If the ears feel sore or tender following otoplasty, your GP or surgeon may prescribe painkillers to alleviate the effects.

To ensure patients get their desired results from otoplasty, it is important that they arrange consultations with qualified surgeons to discuss their reasons for and expectations from the treatment.

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