If you are basically satisfied with your ear size but one or more of the following situations apply to you, otoplasty surgery may be an option for you:
People who have ears that stick out
People who have a very large conchal bowl (inside the ear)
People with undeveloped ears
People who are not happy with the shape of their ears
People whose ears have a cauliflower appearance (usually through some form of contact sport)
What happens when I see Dr Lim?
Your first consultation with Dr Lim will take around 45 minutes and you are most welcome to bring a friend or husband/partner along to your consultation. During the consultation, Dr Lim will take the time to discuss the procedure with you, the changes you desire and any other issues related to the appearance of your ears that you feel are important to you. This will help Dr Lim understand your expectations and determine if they are achievable. Dr Lim will explain the risks of surgery and discuss the methods of otoplasty surgery with you. During your consultation, your ears will be assessed and a few measurements and photographs will be taken to plan the procedure. You will be given a written quotation and information to take home to read. You do not have to make the decision to proceed with the surgery at this initial consultation.
How will Dr Lim evaluate me for surgery?
Dr Lim will examine your ears and consider such factors as the size and shape of your ears, the quality of your skin and the position. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions you may have, any medications you are currently taking, any drug allergies you have, other medical treatments you have received and any previous surgery you may have had.
How should I prepare for surgery?
Products that contain Aspirin, vitamin E or Evening Primrose Oil should be avoided for four weeks before surgery. The use of Vitamin K is recommended for three days prior to the surgery. Alcohol should also be avoided prior to the surgery along with stop smoking two weeks before and for a week after surgery.
On the day of surgery, the patient should wear comfortable, loose clothing preferably not clothes that need to be pulled over the head and face. No make-up is to be worn on the day of surgery, including nail polish.
Where will my Otoplasty surgery be performed?
Dr Lim performs the surgery in fully accredited hospitals: Castle Hill Hospital, Holroyd Private Hospital, The Hills Private Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital. Otoplasty procedures are performed under general anaesthetic and you can expect to be in hospital for between one to two days.
What will the day of surgery be like?
You will need to contact the hospital a day before surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time. On entering the hospital, you need to report to the admissions desk and the staff will direct you through the admission process. Dr Lim and the anaesthetist will both see you prior to surgery and Dr Lim will make some markings on your nose. The surgery will take 1 hour. Following the surgery you will spend some time in the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you are fully awake. The ears are covered with a dressing to protect the dissolvable stitches, which you can remove 4-5 days after the surgery.
How will I look and feel initially?
The first few days after surgery are generally the most painful, particularly when you are moving around or coughing. You will be prescribed pain medication during this period and Dr Lim will provide a prescription for you upon discharge. It is also normal to feel tired and a little slow for a day or two after an anaesthetic. A support headband will be provided to wear at night for 4 weeks to aid in the healing and prevention of damage to the ears.
When can I resume my normal activities?
The recovery period following this surgery varies from person to person but most people are back to their normal routine in approximately 1 week, however the full healing process can take up to 3 months. The ears will be sensitive for a 6 weeks or so following surgery and should be handled according to your own level of comfort. Returning to work depends on your job demands and Dr Lim will advise you regarding this. You may be able to return to light work (e.g. secretarial work) within one to two weeks. To protect the nose while it is healing you should avoid strenuous exercise for the first couple of weeks after surgery. Once again, Dr Lim will discuss your individual situation with you.
How is the Otoplasty performed?
One of most common methods of ear reshaping surgery involves making a small incision in the back of the ear. Dr Lim then shapes the cartilage, removing small amounts at a time and bending the ears back toward the patient's head. It may also be necessary to remove a larger amount of cartilage to keep the fold as natural looking as possible. Ear surgery leaves a scar behind the ear which is usually hidden by the hair. Scars are generally inconspicuous, and fade with time.
How long do I need to see Dr Lim for following my surgery?
Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and the staff will stay in contact with you during the post-operative period. You will be seen at frequent intervals over the first twelve months. Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing staff does not end once you have had the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns after your operation, you are always welcome to call and discuss these with us.