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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

Prominent ears can spoil the appearance of some peoples’ faces, and are a great annoyance to many patients.  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).

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

  • Self conscious of the ears appearance
  • Reluctant to have short hair or wear hair up
  • Children over 5 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

The consultation will address your concerns about the appearance of your ears, and your goals for treatment. 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 reduction 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

The operation is performed as day surgery in adults and overnight surgery in children no younger than five years of age. It 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 carfully moulded, reduced and repositioned into a harmonious position. Both ears are addressed in the same operation.

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.

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. 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 otoplasty surgery?

Otoplasty for prominent or bat ears is real surgery, and even in the most straightforward cases should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. It carries real risks, and as such should be considered carefully.

We recommend that the procedure is only ever performed in an accredited hospital. We also recommend that you carefully consider your choice of surgeon. Unfortunately doctors without surgical qualifications beyond their medical degree are allowed to perform surgery. Your surgeon should be appropriately qualified with at least a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) which means that they have specialist 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 specialised training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, including otoplasty surgery.

Our surgeons, Dr Amira Sanki and Dr Ilias Kotronakis are fully qualified Plastic Surgeons. They have both received Honours degree in their Sydney medical schools. They both have FRACS qualifications as Specialist Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. They both have extensive experience and training in otoplasty. They are committed 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 more advice. More information on otoplasty is available online at the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.