Careful preoperative assessment is required to determine the exact cause of the prominent ears so that the operation can be tailored to the patient to correct the specific deformities.
Standard preoperative photographs should always be taken.
The operation is usually performed under a General Anaesthetic but can be performed under a Local Anaesthetic if the patient wishes.
It takes about 1 hour per ear.
A cut is made on the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. The cartilage is then reshaped with ‘scoring’ or ‘sutures’ or a combination of both. Scoring is where cuts are made on one side of the cartilage to weaken it allowing it to bend and create a new anti-helical fold. Sutures bend the cartilage and hold it in the new position creating a new anti-helical fold. Which technique is used depends on the thickness of the cartilage.
Different techniques are used to reduce the size of a conchal bowl, if required – some require the removal of cartilage , some do not.
The skin incision is closed with absorbable sutures.
At the end of the operation a bandage is put over one or both ears more for protection than to hold the ears in place. The bandage will stay on for about a week depending what has been done.

OTOPLASTY / PINNAPLASTY – Before and after photos

OTOPLASTY / PINNAPLASTY – After The Operation.

10-14 days off school or work is advised.
Any pain is usually well controlled with simple over the counter pain killers such as Paracetamol.
When the head bandage is removed I recommend that my patients protect the ears at night by wearing a head band such as a tennis sweat band for 6 weeks. This stops the ears from being turned back on themselves when turning over in bed at night. The band should not be too tight – just tight enough to protect the ears and not come off during the night.
Hair washing can occur 10 days after the surgery.
I would advise against swimming for at least one month.
No contact sports for 8 weeks.
There are no restrictions on flying.

OTOPLASTY / PINNAPLASTY – The Risks of Surgery.

  • Infection- uncommon and usually responds well to antibiotics. Should be suspected if there is worsening pain during the first 10 days
  • Haematoma- uncommon and usually responds well to antibiotics. Should be suspected if there is worsening pain during the first 10 days.
  • Deformity- if a severe infection gets into the cartilage, the cartilage can be damaged and change its shape leaving a deformity of the ear. Very uncommon.
  • Keloid scar- this can occur in 3% of people. It is where the scar on the back of the ear keeps on growing forming a large lump. A keloid can be difficult to remove because there is a chance it may grow back.
  • Numbness- the ear ay feel numb afterwards. this nearly always corrects itself but may take many weeks.
  • Asymmetry- the aim is to get the ears as symmetrical as possible but sometimes there may be minor asymmetry. This is not usually a problem as many peoples ears are slightly asymmetrical.
  • Recurrence.- it is possible for the ear to stick out again. The cartilage is springy and has a memory. During the operation it is weakened and held in place with stitches. If the ear is knocked in the early stages the stitches could tear or break and the cartilage may return towards its original shape. After a period of time the cartilage adopts its new shape. Recurrence is uncommon.
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The earFold is a new minimally invasive alternative to the standard OTOPLASTY.
It is suitable for some people with prominent ears.
The procedure is performed under a local anaesthetic.
It takes 10-20 minutes per ear and there no bandages after the operation.
The patent can return to work the following day (though there will be some bruising on the ears).

Patient Comments

  • I was very happy with my consultation with Mr. Pringle. I felt I was in safe hands and confident that he could deal with my problem. I would not hesitate to have another appointment with Mr. Pringle. Many thanks.

    CW, Dec 2016

  • Mr Pringle's analysis of my case and discussion of potential treatment inspires me with hope that my long running condition can be overcome.

    DT, Nov 2016

  • I was very happy and confident with my consultation with Mr Pringle. Highly impressed. My partner was also impressed by the time given.

    FB, Aug 2016

  • Mr Pringle was efficient, patient and thorough during my consultation. I was reassured by his quiet, matter of fact approach. I received a prompt response to an email enquiry and a further test was arranged swiftly and efficiently. I will respect Mr Pringle's advice regarding any further treatment I may require.

    SH, Jul 2016

  • Mr Pringle's examination and explanation of my medical condition was very easy to understand and very reassuring. I left his consulting room feeling relieved and happy.

    PD, Jul 2016

  • An excellent consultant that comes highly recommended. I found him to be very attentive, keen to diagnose the problem and easy to talk to.

    Mrs CM, Jan 2107

  • Approachable, friendly and put my very nervous daughter at ease. Explained the condition well with diagrams and gave us a timetable for future treatment. Thanks.

    Mrs ED, Mar 2017

  • Mr Pringle was very reassuring and took time to listen. I felt confident when I left, that I had received the best advice.

    Mrs JP, Jun 2017

  • Mr Pringle was able to help with a longstanding problem and give valuable advice and suggested treatment. I am now improving my condition and optimistic that I will have an end to this longstanding problem.

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    Name withheld, Mar 2018

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    Name withheld, April 2018

  • A massive relief to have a correct diagnosis after 10 years or more treatment. We are obviously concerned about the forthcoming treatment but grateful to finally see an end in sight.

    ED, Mar 2017

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    Mr RC, May 2018

  • I felt my appointment with Mr Pringle went very well. He listened to my concerns, understood completely what I was saying, did a couple of tests on the spot and made me feel completely at ease. I would be happy to recommend Mr Pringle to family and friends.

    Ms NS, May 2018

  • Mr Pringle was very professional and did a very thorough examination and gave me a clear and concise advice as to my condition and what should be done to deal with it, I felt very reassured.

    Mr JE, Jun 2018

  • Mr Pringle was very friendly and my 3 year old daughter felt at ease. She sat and did exactly what he asked so we had a very positive appointment. We felt he was very thorough and didn’t hurry us. Would def recommend him.

    Ms OT, July 2018

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    I was very happy with the treatment I received and the care I was given

    Mrs SB, Sept 2108

  • Mr Pringle is very patient and put me at ease. He is a good listener.

    Name withheld, Sept 2018

  • Mr Pringle was very professional, polite, thorough and gave the necessary time to discuss any queries. Gave re-assurance to arrange an appointment in the future should there be any further issues.

    Name withheld, Sept 2018

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