Although more common in children prominent ear correction is performed also in patients later in life. Many children suffer teasing at school from this relatively common deformity. Because ears grow to near adult size by early school age, the prominent ear appears more obvious. Mild cases may be concealed by longer hair until a child has become fully developed, and a decision for or against surgery then taken. If however the deformity is obvious, it is much kinder to carry out corrective surgery, which can be done from the age of approximately six years.
The operation is done through the back of the ear planned in a way so no scar is apparent, and is designed to produce an entirely normal ear. For small children this is done under a general anaesthetic and they can leave hospital the following day. Adults and teenagers may have the treatment under local anaesthetic and go home the same day.
A bandage is worn around the upper head for one week, and then removed at the same time as the stitches. The ears heal fast and the appearance is very natural even after one week. But, just as with any operation, the ears will be tender if knocked, so please avoid any contact sports for six weeks. It is also a good idea to wear a woollen ear band (as for skiing) at night after the bandage is removed. This support protects the ears for about two weeks whilst sleeping and can then be left off.
After six weeks you will be asked to return for a follow up examination, by which time slight tenderness and redness of the ears has usually resolved completely.
Although complications are unusual they include bleeding, slow healing, infection, and asymmetry. Scars may result raised but this is a very uncommon problem. If recurrence of ear prominence follows correction, this may require re-operation (this can occur in less than 5% of patients).
After the operation you will be visited while in hospital by myself normally or otherwise a member of my team in order to ensure a personal and confidential programme of after care. I can be contacted through my secretary or -out of hours- the Hospital switchboard should the need arise.
Revision surgery may be required in a very small minority of cases in the short term. In these circumstances you will not incur any surgical fees (payment to the surgeon), but you will be responsible for the cost of the hospital and anaesthetic fees.
I hope that this information, and the attention that you will receive postoperatively will keep you fully informed at all times. A more in detail discussion about the operation and possible complications adjusted to your specific needs takes place during consultation