Ear reshaping is generally used to treat people who have protruding or other misshapen ears. This is known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty. When this surgery is performed, the cartilage of the ear is remodeled so that the ear does not protrude as much. In order to do this, two main techniques are used:
• Otoplasty or pinnaplasty, which is the process of pinning back the ears. Here, cartilage is completely removed, thereby creating missing folds and placing the ear closer to the head.
• Ear splinting, where the soft cartilage is reset. A splint is then used to keep the ear in position until it is healed. Ear splinting is only used on infants under the age of six months.
The procedures are very safe and the results are usually very satisfying. However, there are always risks to think about when any type of surgery and there will be a short recovery period too. Recovery after ear surgery is not long, but it can be difficult not to touch the ears during the period of recovery.
Why Are Otoplasties Performed?
Quite a large number of people are not happy with the shape and size of their ears. Although protruding ears have no effect on hearing, they can cause significant psychological distress and embarrassment. Because ears are the first part of the body to reach full maturity, children with protruding ears are often the victims of bullying, because their ears will be even more noticeable. Sometimes, the parent is more worried about this than the child, who may not have been teased at all. Parents often worry their child will be upset and bullied, even if they have no evidence of this. For adults the problems can be more practical. They may struggle with wearing a motorbike helmet for example. In women, it may create a degree of embarrassment, leading them to not wear their hair up.
Understanding Protruding Ears
Protruding ears often run in the family, although not always. The outside of the ear is designed specifically to stick out and the angle compared to the head should be between 20 and 35 degrees. Unfortunately, this angle can be too big with some people, which leads to protruding ears. Very often, it is because of an excess of cartilage. However, it can also be that the ridge that is found on the top of the ear does not fold during in vitro development. Another common reason for ears to protrude is as a result of an accident, in which case reconstructive ear surgery is needed.
There are different types of protruding ears, each with their own surgical procedure. For instance:
• Elf ear surgery for pointy ears
• Cauliflower ear surgery for ears that have folds in odd places
Cost of Otoplasty
The financial cost of otoplasty varies depending on where people are located. In the UK, some treatment may be available on the NHS. Similarly, in the US, certain medical insurance companies may cover ear surgery, but only if it also meets certain other requirements. If the procedure is purely cosmetic and there is no real problem with protruding ears, the procedure will be considered fully cosmetic ear surgery and the patient will have to pay the full cost. The cost of ear plastic surgery varies depending on how significant the surgery needs to be, as well as on the geographical area in which the patient is based. Certain areas have more expensive ear surgery costs than others, so you may want to shop around before you book in for ear tuck surgery that you have to pay for yourself.