Prominent ears

Otoplasty can set back prominent ears into a more balanced position, producing a pleasing natural frame for your face.

Otoplasty, Surgery for prominent or bat ears

Usually ears sit unobtrusively at the side of the face. The usual position as viewed from directly in front is for the outer fold of the ear (helical fold) to sit just behind the inner fold (antihelical fold). Prominent or bat ears can draw undue attention to a person’s face and can be surgically shaped to sit into a less obvious position.

Patients with prominent ears may be able to be helped by otoplasty if they are:

  • Self conscious of their ears’ appearance
  • Reluctant to have short hair or wear hair up
  • Children over 7 who complain about the appearance of the ears.

Otoplasty is commonly performed in children. It is also often performed in adults. These adults have often had concerns about their ears for years, and have been dissuaded from changes by supportive loved ones. Otoplasty operations tend to have a very high satisfaction rate among patients.

What to expect at your first consultation

Dr Amira Sanki and Dr Ilias Kotronakis, our Sydney otoplasty specialists, will meet you in a 30 minute consultation to address your concerns about the appearance of your ears, and your goals for treatment. All children should be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. The consultation will be performed with sensitivity to your opinions and thoughtfulness to your concerns. Confidential clinical photographs for your records will be taken, and analysed with you.

We will then discuss the best course of action to address your concerns. Written information will be provided to you, so that you can consider your options. If otoplasty surgery is appropriate the benefits and risks of surgery will be discussed in detail. You should consider ear surgery carefully, and you will have the opportunity to see your surgeon in another consultation should new questions arise after your first visit.

What the procedure involves

Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis perform otoplasty surgery at licenced hospital facilities in Sydney’s south. The operation is more complicated than just pinning back the ears. The incision in otoplasty surgery is well hidden behind the ears. Through this incision the cartilage that gives shape to the ears is carefully moulded, reduced and repositioned into a harmonious position. Both ears are addressed in the same operation. Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis both use a “scoring and suturing” technique to yield a long lasting and natural otoplasty result.

Can otoplasty be done with no cuts and sutures alone?

  1. While incisionless otoplasty is a described procedure, it cannot achieve the same level of reshaping of a surgical otoplasty and does not have the longevity of a surgical otoplasty.

After the surgery

A crepe bandage with underlying ear padding is worn for one week after the surgery. Most patients find that the recovery is not very painful. A simple headband is worn at night for a further month. Contact sports should be avoided for two months after the surgery to ensure that the ears have to time settle into their new position.

How long will I stay in hospital after an otoplasty?

The operation is performed as day surgery in adults and overnight surgery in children no younger than five years of age.

Is otoplasty a painful operation?

Most children and adults find otoplasty surgery not painful. The ears are well supported in a padded dressing for the first week after surgery. When this dressing is gently removed, the ears feel numb and slightly sensitive. The sensitivity is due to swelling of the ear’s nerves. This passes over 4 to 12 weeks.

How long before I can drive after an otoplaty?

Our Sydney patients are able to drive approximately three days after an otoplasty. To drive safely, you need to have ceased all sedating pain relief and be able to comfortably turn your head to check your blind spots.

How long will it be before I can return to work and exercise after facial plastic surgery?

Most people having otoplasty surgery in Sydney can return to work 1 week and can gently exercise after one week. You can perform stronger exercises and contact sports eg heavy lifting, pilates after 6-8 weeks.

Which hospitals do Dr Kotronakis and Dr Sanki perform otoplasty surgery in?

Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis are Kogarah and Shire otoplasty specialists, and perform surgery at major hospital facilities including St George, Hurstville, Bondi Junction and St Luke’s private hospitals. They select their hospitals based on their high standards of peri-operative care and their outstanding surgical equipment.

Is it possible to have an all female surgical team?

Dr Sanki has an all female surgical team available weekly. Surgery can be a vulnerable time for women, and having the security of an all female plastic surgery team can be comforting and reassuring. Dr Sanki’s team are not picked upon their gender, but are picked for their experience, dedication and skill.

Can private health insurance be used?

Otoplasty or ear reduction surgery is eligible for refunds from health funds. Your insurance can pay for all your operating theatre and hospital costs, including the post-operative stay. Medicare and your private insurance also contribute to the doctors’ bills. You can call your health fund and see if you are covered. The Medicare Benefits Schedule code that is likely to be used is 45659.

Who should perform prominent ear/ bat ear operations?

An otoplasty may sound simple but it is real surgery, and should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. It carries real risks, and as such should be considered carefully. Fortunately, otoplasty surgery in Sydney is safely performed by our highly experienced surgeons.

We recommend that you carefully consider your choice of surgeon. Unfortunately doctors without surgical qualifications beyond their medical degree are allowed to perform surgery. Your plastic surgeon should be appropriately qualified with at least a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic surgery (FRACS plast), which means that they have specialist plastic surgical training. FRACS is the standard qualification required in Australia to perform surgery in private and public hospitals.

Members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons have a FRACS and specialized training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, including otoplasties.

Our Sydney otoplasty plastic surgeons, Dr Amira Sanki and Dr Ilias Kotronakis are fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons. They are Australian University trained, and received honours from their medical schools. They are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Dr Sanki holds the Chair for Education for the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. They have extensive experience and training in otoplasty surgery, including the most advanced and up to date techniques. They arecommitted to giving their patients the safest and best treatment available.

Where to get more information

A consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon is the best place to get the right advice. More information on otopalsty is available online at the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons websites. You can view a video of the procedure there.

Plastic surgery, like any other surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. It is important for individuals considering plastic surgery to be aware of these risks before making a decision. Your plastic surgeon will explain the specific risks of your procedure and your risk profile in the context of your general health and the complexity of your procedure. Here are some of the common risks associated with plastic surgery:

1. Infection: Any surgical procedure has the risk of infection. Surgeons take precautions to minimise this risk, such as sterile operating environments and proper wound care, but infections can still occur.

2. Scarring: Scarring is an inherent risk of plastic surgery. While surgeons strive to minimise visible scarring, some procedures may result in more noticeable or keloid scars.

3. Pain and discomfort: Plastic surgery involves incisions and tissue manipulation, which can lead to post-operative pain and discomfort. The level of pain varies depending on the procedure and the individual’s pain tolerance.

4. Hematoma and seroma: Hematomas are collections of blood that can form under the skin after surgery, while seromas are collections of fluid. These fluid collections may require drainage.

5. Nerve damage: Nerves can be damaged during surgery, leading to temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area. Nerve damage can also cause muscle weakness or paralysis.

6. Blood clots: Surgical procedures carry a risk of blood clot formation, particularly in the legs. Blood clots can be serious if they travel to other parts of the body, causing complications like pulmonary embolism.

7. Anesthesia risks: Plastic surgery usually requires the use of anesthesia, which carries its own set of risks. These include adverse reactions to anesthesia, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, life-threatening complications.

8. Unsatisfactory results: Plastic surgery outcomes may not meet the patient’s expectations or desires. It’s important for individuals to have realistic expectations and to communicate clearly with their surgeon about their goals and desired outcomes.

9. Revision surgery: In some cases, additional surgery may be required to achieve the desired results or to correct any complications or unsatisfactory outcomes. This can increase the financial and emotional burden on the patient.

10. Psychological and emotional effects: Plastic surgery can have psychological and emotional impacts, both positive and negative. While many people experience improved self-esteem and body image after surgery, others may struggle with unrealistic expectations, body dysmorphia, or dissatisfaction with the results.

It’s crucial for individuals considering plastic surgery to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can thoroughly explain the risks and benefits specific to their desired procedure. Understanding and carefully weighing these risks against the potential benefits can help individuals make informed decisions about whether to proceed with plastic surgery.