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Leeds Hospital

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

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Ear Repositioning (Otoplasty) is a surgical procedure that is usually performed to move the ears into a more natural looking position closer to the head.

What does the surgery involve?

During the operation, the surgeon will adjust the shape of the ear cartilage to allow it to fold back into a more usual position. Surgery is carried out through an incision (cut) hidden in the fold on the back of the ear. Once corrected, this incision is stitched together and a rather bulky bandage is put around your head.

Otoplasty can be performed using either a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic and takes between one to two hours to perform.

Providing all is well, you can expect to go home the same day.

What are the risks and side effects of surgery?

Complications are infrequent and usually minor. However, no surgery is without risk.

Blood can collect beneath the skin of the ear. This may need to be drained. 
Infection in the ears can occur although it is rare. Scars can become thick and red which may need further treatment.

Unpredictable results are possible (uncommon). Cartilage is a living tissue and it may alter its shape over time. Very occasionally, a second operation may be required to refine your results. It is also possible that the ear can return to its pre-surgery position. This, however, is rare.

When the dressings come off, your ears may look red or bruised for a while. However, the new shape should be fairly clear to see.