Prominent ears or ‘bat ears’ can be a devastating aesthetic deformity which can make both children and adults self conscious. Otoplasty is a simple and straightforward procedure which can reposition the ears back to a more acceptable position. Ears are almost fully developed by the age of four. The earlier the surgery takes place, the lesser the teasing and ridicule the patient will have to endure.
Where will the surgery be performed?
Otoplasty on children is usually performed as a day surgical procedure in Mount Elizabeth Hospital under general anaesthesia. For adults, the surgery can be carried out under local anaesthesia with twilight sedation in our ambulatory surgery centre, making the surgery a more pleasant experience.
What does the surgery involve?
Otoplasty takes about one hour. A small incision is made at the back of the ears to expose the ear cartilage. Dr Fok will then sculpt the cartilage, bend it backwards and stitch it to its new position. Occasionally, there will be a need to remove cartilage in order to provide a more natural-looking fold. The scars at the back of the ears will fade with time.
What happens post-operatively?
Patients are generally up and around within a few hours of the procedure and allowed to return home soon after. THERE ARE NO BANDAGES APPLIED AFTER THE SURGERY. Patients can wash your hair as usual on the following day of surgery. Pain is usually minimal and can be relieved with oral medication as prescribed by Dr Fok. There is no need to remove any stitches and the scars are not visible, as it will be hidden behind the hair.
A headband or a ski cap may be worn at night to protect the ear from bending and pressure while sleeping
Most adults can go back to work the day after surgery. Children can go back to school after one or two days. They have to be careful with playground activity.