Ear Correction

It only becomes apparent that the ears are prominent or stick out when the child is older. At the age of four to five years the ears have just about completed all their growth while the rest of the face hasn’t, they therefore appear proportionately larger. If a surgical operation is to be undertaken to correct the ears, then the cartilage needs to be relatively stiff and this does not happen until about five years of age.The rim of the normal ear should lie within 2cm from the side of the head. If the ear is over corrected and lies too close to the head it frequently looks as abnormal as appearing too prominent. Modern operations try to avoid dividing the cartilage on the ear, as frequently this split will show through and in general large ears cannot be made smaller.The operation of bat ear correction involves:a) creating a fold in the cartilage of the ear (antihelical fold)

AND OR

b) drawing the ear closer to the side of the head

This operation can frequently be done under local anaesthetic, but in younger or more nervous patients as a day case general anaesthetic. A head bandage is to be kept post-operatively for a week, continuing with just the head band at night for a further month.Private health insurance schemes will sometimes cover this operation.Our surgeons and staff are well trained in the practice of this operation and we would be delighted to discuss with you the pros and cons of such surgery in your particular casePre operative care

Pre operatively, no aspirin or medicine containing aspirin should be taken for two weeks before surgery. For children, this operation is done under a general anaesthetic as a day case procedure. The patient should have nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before and you will be advised what time to arrive at hospital. Older patients having the operation under local anaesthetic do not need to starve before surgery and can go home immediately after surgery. It is better if you arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be able to hear very well with the dressing on.

The operation is done through an incision on the back of the ear so that no scar is apparent from the front and it is designed to produce an entirely normal looking ear. You should bring an elasticated sweatband to hospital with you.

Post-Operative Care

There may be some soreness and tenderness and minor pain associated with bat ear correction. Usually by sleeping with the head and shoulders well propped up, this can improve the pain and if painkillers are required, usually Paracetamol is adequate. Please be very careful not to take aspirin or any other painkillers which contain aspirin as this will cause bleeding.

After one week you will be asked to return and the foam dressings will be removed. We use dissolving stitches. It is a good idea to continue using the sweatband at night in bed for a further month.

Long term results

The ears will feel sensitive for approximately six weeks after surgery and contact sports such as rugby should be avoided. During the first six months the ears may feel unusually sensitive to the cold, this will subside with time.

Fortunately complications are rare. 2% of patients can get excessive bruising in the skin, a further 2% of patients may get a minor problem of healing of the skin on the front of the ear and a further 2% of patients may have long-term healing problems with the scar behind the ear where the scar becomes raised and itchy (hypertrophic/keloid scar). This complication is more common in younger, darker skinned people. Fortunately this can usually be corrected.

Overall about one in twenty patients get a minor recurrence in the protrusion of their ears and require a small secondary adjustment, usually under local anaesthetic.

Testimonial for Prominent Ear Correction for Mr Shailesh Vadodaria Cosmetic Surgeon