Ears that are large, asymmetrical or protruding can draw unwanted attention and be the cause of embarrassment to an individual, and in particular for children. Fortunately, ear reshaping, also referred to as otoplasty is a surgical procedure that can improve the size, shape and prominence of the ears and bring them in to balance with the other facial features. These corrections are commonly performed on children around the ages of 7 or 8, once their ears have fully developed but whilst the cartilage still remains softer and more pliable. One advantage of having this done at a younger age is to avoid the psychological issues that may occur due to teasing and bullying at school. Otoplasty can however be performed at any age for individuals who desire a change in their ear aesthetics. Dr Watts spent three years of his training in dedicated paediatric hospitals and world-renowned centres and is currently employed at Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital where he regularly performs otoplasty.
• Reposition protruding ears more parallel to the head
• Re-contour poorly defined ear folds
• Improve asymmetries
• Create a more balanced facial aesthetic
When children have prominent ears parents need to consider whether surgery is the right option and ways in which to help their child develop a healthy self-image. Children will need guidance to develop realistic expectations of the surgery and be mature enough to be compliant with postoperative instructions.
Dr Watts performs his otoplasty procedure on an outpatient basis under general anaesthesia. The procedure on average will take 1.5 hours to complete. Incisions are usually hidden in the folds behind the ear to minimise visible scarring. Dressings and a head bandage will be applied after the procedure to provide support and maintain the new ear position. After surgery the patient will be observed for a few hours to ensure initial recovery is progressing well before they are allowed to return home with a friend or family member.
Written procedure specific information sheets will be given to you in order for you to prepare for your/ your child’s surgery and the recovery period. There may be some mild postoperative discomfort and so a postoperative analgesia regime will be tailored to meet your/your child’s specific needs. The head bandage will be removed after one week and you can expect most swelling to have settled within 2 weeks.
Dr Watts and his team are dedicated to providing ongoing care, support and guidance throughout your/ your child’s entire journey. They will be readily available to answer any further questions you may have to ensure a safe and smooth recovery. For more information please call our office to schedule a personal consultation with Dr Watts and discuss how otoplasty may benefit yourself or your child.