Ear Correction

Facial Surgery

Ear Correction

This is a surgical procedure which involves reshaping the ear and setting it closer to the head – commonly known as a procedure for ‘bat ears’ or ‘ears that stick out’ aiming to ‘pin them back’.

The actual size of the ear will not be changed significantly – this requires a different procedure.

Otoplasty simply means surgery to change the shape of the ears. While correction of prominent ears is the commonest procedure – this term applies to any operation to reshape the ears and would apply to cosmetic reshaping of the ear lobe & careful repair of torn ear-lobes where ear-rings have been dislodged. The remainder of this advice sheet relates to prominent ear correction (the commonest otoplasty carried out).

Earfold – What was it?

This was an innovative memory-fold foil clip, inserted under local anaesthesia to ‘fold and hold’ the new shape of a prominent ear. It was made of Nitinol and gold plated. It was invented in London and acquired a CE mark in April 2015 – after which Allergan purchased all rights to the patent / CE mark / production and sales.

This was an exciting introduction because, while it was available, it opened up the option of corrective surgery to many ‘less bothered’ patients who were not inclined to go through 2 hours of surgery to have a correction.

However, the owners of the patent, Allergan withdrew the product from their portfolio in early 2021 during the pandemic. Their statement made it clear that is was not to do with outcome data from the product – so it may be have been more to do with relative cost of production versus volume of access to skilled insertion – limiting the commercial viability of the device.

As such, the treatment is no longer available as a treatment in the UK.

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Who is conventional Otoplasty surgery for?

This is an operation designed for those with prominent ears (‘bat ears’ or ‘sticking out’ ears) who would prefer for them to be set closer to the head. It is most commonly performed for children between the ages of 7-14 giving consideration to the age they may become socially stigmatised i.e. school age. It can be performed for adults who are self-conscious about prominent ears. The ear prominence may be on both sides or one side may be more prominent.

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Possible Complications

Your particular procedure will be selected according to your particular presentation and discussed in the consultation. In general terms: the procedure may be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. The incision is generally placed behind the ear – but some techniques require a small incision in front of the ear too. The cartilage folds inside the ear are then re-shaped – or a small piece is removed – and sutures (stitches) placed to hold the new position and close the wound. In some cases this allows the ear to lie in a new position closer to the head and this is all that is required. In other cases, additional sutures (stitches) are required in the groove behind the ear to anchor the ear closer to the head.

Otoplasty surgery bilateral (both sides) under Local Anaesthetic (awake)

£4162

Otoplasty bilateral surgery (both sides) under General Anaesthesia

£5127

Frequently Asked Questions

This is an operation designed for those with prominent ears (‘bat ears’ or ‘sticking out’ ears) who would prefer for them to be set closer to the head. It is most commonly performed for children between the ages of 7-14 giving consideration to the age they may become socially stigmatised i.e. school age. It can be performed for adults who are self-conscious about prominent ears. The ear prominence may be on both sides or one side may be more prominent.

It is not possible to guarantee perfect symmetry after the procedure. Asymmetry of the ears often exists prior to surgery and is particularly difficult to correct perfectly.

Your particular procedure will be selected according to your particular presentation and discussed in the consultation. In general terms: the procedure may be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. The incision is generally placed behind the ear – but some techniques require a small incision in front of the ear too. The cartilage folds inside the ear are then re-shaped – or a small piece is removed – and sutures (stitches) placed to hold the new position and close the wound. In some cases this allows the ear to lie in a new position closer to the head and this is all that is required. In other cases, additional sutures (stitches) are required in the groove behind the ear to anchor the ear closer to the head.

A head bandage will be placed at the end of the operation which must stay on for a week day and night and will be removed in the clinic. At that time, the ears will still be a little bruised and swollen (for a total of 2-3 weeks) but most of the result will be visible at that stage. It is important that you continue to wear a supportive head band at night for a further 4 weeks after surgery to help support the new ear position during this early phase of healing.

As with all surgery, there is a small risk of infection and bleeding. A haematoma (blood under the skin) – which requires evacuation by the surgeon – is uncommon (less than 1% of cases). The most common unwanted effect is that the ears may not be perfectly symmetrical – and further correction to achieve a perfect result may not be possible. The incision behind the ear may form a hypertrophic (lumpy) scar – this occurs in up to 4% of cases). The skin of the ear can be numb or tingling after the surgery – which in most cases returns to normal over time. The objective of the operation is to change the ear projection and shape – it is not possible to guarantee patient satisfaction with the new shape. All surgery carries complications – but this procedure has become well established because it is largely a successful and common operation.






    • Call Mr. Blackburn on 01925 215 008 or email stephanie.cartwright@spirehealthcare.com.

    • Consultation with Mr. Blackburn
      30 minutes: £224. Written information about procedure and aftercare, letter to patient / GP.

    • Preoperative assessment with nurse and doctor support. Cosmetic Surgery with ward care, removal of stitches + postoperative review consultations with Mr. Blackburn all included in the cost of surgery.