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Many people are unhappy with the appearance of their ears. Usually it is because they are excessively protruding, but it can also be for other reasons such as prominent earlobes or abnormally shaped ears. Protruding ears can be a significant source of embarrassment for children, and many adults with the condition call being teased by their peers as children for their ‘jug ears’ or ‘bat ears’. Otoplasty is the term given to the procedure used to ‘pin back’ protruding ears. It is the most common aesthetic operation performed on children. The most appropriate timing for surgery is between the ages of 6 and 9 years but it can be performed at any age once there is a level of understanding with the child. It can also be performed on older children and adults.

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Reasons For An Otoplasty or Ear Fold

In many cases, parents are the ones who consider Otoplasty or ear fold for their children. Prominent ears is an inherited condition, and parents want their children to avoid the classroom teasing for being ‘different’ and dissatisfaction with their appearance that they themselves may have experienced. Occasionally, older teenagers and adults who have prominent ears, who have spent years carefully choosing hairstyles to cover their ears and dreading swimming hats or windy days, decide to take steps to correct the shape of their ears.

The Surgery

The shape of the ears may be corrected in a number of ways. Otoplasty, as mentioned above, aims to ‘pin back’ the ears closer to the side of the head. Other procedures include ear lobe reduction, correction of ear defects present at birth or those caused by injury. On the day of your procedure, you will arrive at the hospital fasting. Before the surgery you will meet with your surgeon again and he will mark the surgical site. Correction of prominent ears is usually performed under general anesthesia supplemented with a local anesthetic to the area around the ear. The most common surgical technique is that the cartilage is exposed and abraded from behind and then divided along the proposed new internal fold. In this way the surgeon avoids making an incision on the front of the ear. The cut makes the cartilage of the ear fold backwards which will bring the ear closer to the head. After the incision is sutured a dressing is applied to the new shape of the ear. Following the surgery you will be closely monitored while you begin your recovery and the effects of the anesthetic wear off.ear fold dublin, Ireland2926_6a0a6891

After Surgery

Patients may experience a throbbing discomfort in their ears for a few hours after surgery, but this is managed with painkillers and usually settles after 24 hours. A bandage is applied around your head to keep the dressing firmly in place during the healing period. Most of our patients who undergo otoplasty go home the same day, but while they recover at the hospital in the first few hours following their operation, they are taken care of by professionals with extensive experience of this surgical procedure. On discharge you will have been given an appointment for your first post-operative visit to The Aesthetic Institute, but patients are welcome to contact us before that if they have any concerns.

The head dressing remains in place for the first week after surgery to prevent any injury to the new position of your ears. It is then removed at The Aesthetic Institute at which time it is not unusual to see some bruising or discoloration to the ear. This usually resolves after 10-14 days. Stitches are removed at the clinic after one to two weeks. Exercise and running sports should be avoided for three weeks after surgery. Contact sports that risk injury to the ear should be avoided for 6-8 weeks after surgery. The final result can be seen when all the swelling has settled, usually around six months after the surgery. The scars from the incision are usually well hidden behind the ear. Otoplasty is one of the most common and most successful cosmetic surgery procedures.

If you’d like to see “Before & After” photos of Akademikliniken patients who have undergone otoplasty procedures, click on the Before & After tab above.

If you have any questions about ear pinning which are not addressed here, or if you would like to book a consultation with the Consultant Plastic Surgeon to discuss a otoplasty, please call 01 491 5738, email or complete our Enquiry Form. 

What does it cost?

The overall cost of a otoplasty depends on a number of factors including how extensive the surgery will be. You can read more about our prices for different procedures and treatments here.

See prices for otoplastyt

If you have any questions about ear pinning which are not addressed here, or if you would like to book a consultation with the Consultant Plastic Surgeon to discuss a otoplasty, please call 01 491 5738, email or complete our Enquiry Form.