In the last 10 years, laser surgery has become more popular and for this reason we are using laser as a cutting tool rather than a knife. Typically, ear surgery involves an incision made at the back of the ear to expose the cartilage, and then excess cartilage is removed or folded with special sutures to position the ear closer to the head.
Using laser for surgery requires considerable skill and experience, however the cutting is shorter, more precise, there is no bleeding and part of the tissue can also be vaporised, meaning there is no bruising, minimal pain and quick recovery time. The procedure takes approximately two hours and requires an artistic approach by the surgeon as the majority of ears are unevenly protruding from the head.
The most important part of the procedure is to achieve good correction without getting flat ears. It is necessary to achieve a natural position. The measurement before and after the operation is very important – how many centimetres the ear needs to be corrected, especially if a patient wants correction for one ear. We have to mark the skin with lines before surgery and the cartilage needs to be undermined in a certain way to remodel the position.
After the procedure, a multi-layer dressing is placed around the ears and head to keep ears in place while they heal. The dressing is on only for two days and later the patient is required to wear a headband, on and off and mainly at night, for about three weeks. Usually we have no pain, however sometimes a patient may experience some soreness for a few days. These patients will require an oral painkiller for the first 24 hours. Many patients do not fully understand that the process of healing takes time and minimal swelling can be seen for a few weeks.
The patient is able to resume normal activities almost immediately, except any activity in which their ear may get bent. Approximately three to five days after the surgery the majority of patients can return to work.
The scar from the incision is hidden behind the ear and inconspicuously placed in the crease of the ear. Complications from otoplasty are rare, however there are risks connected with all surgery and these should be discussed with your surgeon.