What is an pinnoplasty / otoplasty?
A unilateral pinnoplasty, also known as an otoplasty, is an operation to improve the appearance of one of your ears.
Is an pinnoplasty suitable for me?
You are most likely to benefit from an otoplasty if one or more of the following conditions apply to you.
- You are self-conscious about the size or shape of your ears.
- You are being teased and this is causing you distress.
- You have unusually-shaped ears.
An otoplasty will not improve your physical health. For this reason, the operation should be performed only if the aim is to improve your self-confidence and to make you more comfortable with your appearance.
What are the benefits of surgery?
Your ears should have a better shape.
Most people who have a successful otoplasty are more comfortable with their appearance.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
For adults, surgery is the only option to change the shape of your ears.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic.
The operation usually takes about an hour.
Your surgeon will make a cut at the back of your ear and peel off some skin from the cartilage. They will change the shape of the cartilage so your ear lies closer to your head.
Through the same cut at the back of your ear, your surgeon may also make a cut just inside the cartilage so they can peel back the skin from the front of the cartilage and lightly score it. This technique tends to make the cartilage bend towards your head.
Your surgeon will pack your ears with moulding material and place a dressing on your head to give your ears support.
What complications can happen?
General complications of any operation
- Unsightly scarring of your skin
Specific complications of this operation
- Cosmetic problems
- Cauliflower ear
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.
For a few weeks, while the swelling and bruising settles, rest and do not do strenuous exercise.
You can return to work after the head dressing has been removed but you may want to wait another 1 to 2 weeks until it is difficult to tell that you have had surgery.
Do not play sports for 6 weeks.
The results of an pinnoplasty are usually permanent.