Ear Pinning/ Otoplasty
In the case of older children and adults, the procedure is performed under local anesthetic and sedation( pain-free).
In younger patients, a general anesthetic is preferred.
The procedure is done through a small scar behind the ear. Once the ear cartilage has been exposed, the cartilage shape is changed and maintained by means of fine sutures. It is often necessary to reduce the cavity in the ear known as the concha. This has the effect of advancing the ear closer to the head.
Once the skin has been closed using fine, dissolvable sutures, a special protective bandage is placed around the patients head, protecting the ears but at the same time reducing the discomfort.
Down time is approximately 7 days.During this time patients, especially children should withhold from rough games and contact sport whereby their ears could be injured, resulting in hematomas( excessive bleeding). The protective head bandage must be worn for one week.
Children may attend school after 1 week, but may not partake in sport / strenuous exercises for 4-6 weeks.
Although this is not a high-risk procedure, with complications being few and far between, the following complications may occur:
- Infection , very seldom seen and totally treatable.
- Haematoma ( excessive bleeding ), localizing in the affected ear and resulting in pain or severe discomfort. Often associated with an injury of the ear.
Surgical drainage could be necessary.