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Prominent ear correction (also known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty) is an operation in which ears that protrude excessively are adjusted to a more normal position. In adults it can be carried out under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic on a daycase basis.

The surgery

The operation involves the removal of a minimal amount of skin from behind your ear, together with some work on the ear cartilage in order to reduce its tendency to spring back to its original position. It usually takes about one hour or so to correct both ears, and the operation produces a curved vertical scar which is well hidden behind the ear. The scar usually heals well and becomes inconspicuous after several months.

Post operative follow up and aftercare

Although not usual, you may be discharged with a head bandage which you should keep in place until you are seen 5-7 days after surgery. Thereafter you will be asked to wear a headband at night for 6 weeks to keep the ears protected whilst sleeping.

Possible complications

The commonest complication following prominent ear correction is recurrence, whereby one ear or both return to their original pre-surgery position. This occurs in between 10 and 15% of published case series depending upon the technique used. The surgery can be repeated a few months later if this does occur. Other complications specific to prominent ear correction include infection, haematoma (blood clot) and rarely loss of cartilage and shape. As previously mentioned two of any body part are rarely symmetrical and likewise perfect symmetry is unachievable after ear correction although it is seldom noticeable; where it is noticeable further surgery is almost always feasible.

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