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Otoplasty is a purely cosmetic surgery which aims at improving the appearance and ears aesthetics.
Otoplasty operation is commonly known as ear surgery, or ear reconstruction surgery. But what is otoplasty actually? It is an official name for ear plastic surgery. It concerns only the outer ear area, or pinna. The ear otoplasty surgery has nothing in common with hearing problem, so it is a purely cosmetic surgery which aims at improving the appearance and ears aesthetics.
Despite the reason for ear surgery otoplasty, we should remember that it is a plastic surgery which works for improving the look, size, shape and image of ears – according to an otoplasty definition. It is also done by an otoplasty surgeon, which may be any plastic surgeon. So, even though it concerns ear area, it does not involve or affect inner ear or acoustic organs.
Basically, there is no such thing as the best otoplasty age. However, it is true that otoplasty may be performed both for children and adults. Otoplasty children can be done as soon as children are 5 years old or older. The great benefit of otoplasty at a young age is that the cartilage is soft and pliable, so a surgery goes smoother and recover is faster. What’s more, getting otoplasty children feel a massive psychological relief – they avoid or stop being mocked or teased because of the ears shape, size, or their sticking out. On the other hand, we need to remember that otoplasty is still a surgery, and here adult otoplasty is more reasonable. As for adults, it is always an individuals decision while in children or teenagers, it is frequent that parents makes this serious decision without consulting it with kids who often do not really understand what is happening. For children, teenagers, or adults, it is always the best idea to consult a plastic surgeon and ask for advice before making the final decision regarding the surgery.
Otoplasty may be done for a variety of reasons. Yet, all of them boil down to the dissatisfying look of the ears. So, we may generalize that there is only one reason for otoplasty, which is disappointment with the look of the ears. In detail, the unfortunate look of the eras may stem from various conditions, which are:
A bad look of the ears may cause a massive psychological distress. The greatest discomfort is felt by men who usually have a short haircut and find it really hard, or impossible, to hide the ears. The unattractive look results in a low self esteem and lack of confidence. As for women, they often have long hair and never wear a ponytail just to hide the unwanted ears and minimise the discomfort and distress. So, here, we would like to show people that instead of looking for some short-term solutions of how to improve your look, they should consider getting otoplasty surgery and solve the problem of unattractive ears.
Otoplasty brings the physical and psychological change and will positively influence many areas of patients lives.
A congenital ear defect is a birth ear defect which affects the position or/and shape of the ear. It may concern the function of the ear as well as its appearance. There are a few types of congenital ear defects:
Otoplasty may help for these conditions as soon as the goal is to change the look of the ears. Sometimes, the visibility of ears is not the only problem and patients struggle also with hearing problems or some more health conditions. Then, it is important that a plastic surgeon cooperates with other specialists and all surgeries are planned by all involved doctors. The vast majority of the conditions above can be really effectively solved by a plastic surgeon, which gives patients much more than a new ear look – they gain self-confidence, attractiveness, mental health and self-belief.
It is much more frequent to get ear correction for purely aesthetic reasons not connected with any genetic or congenital ear concerns connected with some diseases or serious abnormalities. For the vast majority of people, even the small ear asymmetry, minor abnormality or moderate ear protrusion is an enough reason for ear reduction or ear reshaping.
So, should I get otoplasty when my ears stick out, or when I have large ears, or ear deformity, damaged ear, any ear defect, or torn earlobe? Do I have too prominent ears? Well, otoplasty should always be an individual decision. Obviously, nobody is perfect, and we should never try to be ideal as it is impossible, especially in terms of our appearance. So, when people are OK with their imperfect ear shapes or unusual types of ears, and they feel confident and attractive even with stick out ears, they do not need ear reshaping surgery or ear reconstruction surgery at all.
On the other hand, when people feel depressed with their asymmetrical ears, they had ear trauma or experienced any ears damage or ear injury, they should definitely consider ear reduction surgery, ear lobe surgery, ear pin back surgery, reconstructive ear surgery, or prominent ears correction. The surgery will bring them the physical and psychological change and will positively influence many more areas of their lives than just ears.
There are various divisions, classifications and types of ear surgery. Here, we would like to focus on different types of otoplasty procedures based on the corrections and changes made to ears. So, depending on what problem and which part of the ear is addressed, we can differentiate the following types of otoplasty surgery:
Otoplasty revision procedure is a second operation on ears – it is requested when the primary surgery has not turned out to be effective. Before every plastic surgery, including otoplasty, patients are informed that there is a risk that the effects may be not spectacular, even dissatisfying, and it happens, unfortunately. In some cases, it may be caused by a surgeon’s inexperience or malpractice, in other, by a patient’s anatomy or bad aftercare. Anyway, revision otoplasty may be necessary in some cases. This procedure is more complex than the primary otoplasty and its course varies depending on the concerns, ear anatomy and previous surgery course. The most common reasons for revision otoplasty are: poor cosmetic and aesthetic result, ear asymmetry, and cartilage damage.
Consultation with a plastic surgeon is crucial before every type of ear correction surgery.
There is one type of non surgical otoplasty that is worth mentioning, it refers to ear pinning without surgery. This incisionless otoplasty allows for making permanent changes of pinning to protruding ears. The great benefits of such an ear molding otoplasty without surgery include a local anaesthesia only, no need of hospitalisation and no recovery at all. the effects of this non surgical ear reshaping are immediate. What’s more, due to the fact that it is the incisionless surgery and in fact it is a non surgery otoplasty at all, it is often performed on children. During the procedure, a doctor makes small punctures and puts the thread stitches through the ear. The stitches remain permanently, yet they are not visible. They keep the ears in the desired position and shape. Patients whose main problem are only protruding ears may consider non surgical ear reshaping, yet they also should consult a plastic surgeon in this regard.
Regarding otoplasty, contraindications to surgery are very similar to any other operations and medical procedures. They are mainly connected to the health conditions that may pose an additional risk after applying anaesthesia. In detail, the contraindications for surgery include:
Contraindications to otoplasty surgery are similar to other medical procedures and are mainly connected to the health conditions.
Finally, what is characteristic of otoplasty, inflammatory diseases of ears may be also a contraindication in some cases. There are some more health conditions that may increase the surgery risk, and a surgeon must inform a patient about it before the surgery. So, it is of uttermost importance that patients never hide any health issues or their medical history as it may bear very serious health concerns or even death and there is no such a look improvement that is worth it.
The first preparation for the surgery is made during the consultation when the plastic surgeon will check your ears and analyse medical history.
Otoplasty surgery preparation checklist is not very long, yet it is important for the smooth surgery course, satisfying effects and fact recovery. Generally, the first preparation is made during the consultation when the plastic surgeon will check your ears and analyse medical history. Patients are also asked to fill in a medical questionnaire and physical exam so that a surgeon can know them better.
It is also significant that for a few weeks before the surgery, patients stop taking blood thinning medications, some vitamins, certain herbal supplements and NSAIDs. If patients smoke, they are advised to quit it for at least a few days (preferably weeks) before and after the procedure, as smoking may disturb the healing.
The preparation on the surgery day may vary depending on the anaesthesia type that will be used. For general anaesthesia, patients should not eat or drink anything on the surgery day; for local anaesthesia some light meal is allowed.
Having explained what is otoplasty procedure and how to prepare for it, we need to describe briefly what the otoplasty surgery procedure looks like and what are the steps of the operation. In general, for single and bilateral otoplasty procedure, the surgery looks the same, so there’s no much difference here. The time of the surgery may vary from 1 to 2,5-3 hours. Otoplasty is an outpatient surgery.
In most cases, especially for adults and teenagers, applying local anaesthesia with sedation is enough. However, for children or in some cases for adults too, a surgeon may use general anaesthesia. The rule is that for simple procedures, e.g. just ear pinning surgery procedure or just excess skin removal on ear, there is no need to apply general anaesthesia.
After anaesthesia is applied, a surgeon moves on to making the incisions. Surgical incisions are made either on the back of the ear or inside the ear folds. Thanks to the incisions, a surgeon may manipulate the ear tissue, remove excess cartilage or skin, fold and shape new cartilage, and pin back the ears. Also, the surgeon puts permanent stitches inside the ear to keep it in the new shape and position. These stitches are not visible or palpable. After all changes are made, the incisions are closed with the stitches.
Otoplasty is an outpatient surgery and takes up to 3 hours.
Otoplasty recovery time is relatively short. The fact that the procedure is usually done under local anaesthesia shortens this time too. On average, people need 6 weeks to fully recover, however they can return to most of everyday activities even after 2-3 weeks.
You may admire the surgery results after 6 weeks after surgery.
It is impossible to give the strict frames of the otoplasty recovery day by day as every patient goes through the otoplasty healing process differently, yet below we present the average timeline of recovery from otoplasty so that patients know what to expect:
Patients experience itching, pain and swelling in the ears and head area; the operated site is covered with bandages, or some patients are already given otoplasty recovery headband – it must be worn to keep ears protected and covered; on this day most patients must take pain medications to alleviate the intense pain; patients are advised to rest in bed and keep their head elevated for 24 hours – it reduces bruising and soreness; sleeping on your side is forbidden at this stage.
Bandage otoplasty recovery is taken off (removing bandages after surgery can take place at home or in the hospital), but patients must wear a headband as recommended by a surgeon; by the end of this week, most of the swelling should subside; the pain should also disappear within the week – if it doesn’t or gets even more intense over time, patients should speak with the surgeon; at this stage of surgery healing process, patients should still avoid sleeping on the sides.
As for otoplasty swelling recovery, there may be still some minor swelling, yet it is hardly visible at this stage; in this week, patients usually decide to return to work or school – it happens around 10th day after the surgery; people who work physically are advised to wait for some longer time; the headband should be still worn (mainly during the night) – up to week 6; After 6 weeks – for many people the recovery time for otoplasty has ended, and they may admire the surgery results, no swelling remains now; at this stage we advise visiting a plastic surgeon to check whether everything healed correctly; at this stage of otoplasty surgery recovery time, sleeping on the sides is not a big problem.
Otoplasty aftercare is an important aspect of the procedure that greatly influences the safety of the surgery and determines the final effects. All patients are educated as to the proper aftercare before the surgery – in most cases, during the consultation with a plastic surgeon. Due to the fact that patients leave the clinic shortly after otoplasty procedure, they may not have time to have a detailed discussion regarding post-op guidelines with the clinic personnel, so it is good to know the most important instructions that should be followed by otoplasty patients.
Surgery aftercare effects the result.
Otoplasty results are really spectacular. Even though the changes concern just ears – their shape, size or position, they are reflected on the whole look of the face. Otoplasty results pictures show clearly that the entire face changes remarkably when just the ears are operated. As for otoplasty, the plastic surgery satisfaction rate is really high thanks to the simplicity of the procedure and very refined techniques that are used. In order to see the real changes that may be expected, we recommend searching for otoplasty surgery pictures – many clinics share otoplasty pictures of their patients, so it is easy to find them.
The otoplasty results are immediate. They are visible from the moment when the bandages are taken off. However, the first weeks after the surgery may be quite misleading as there may still be some bruising and swelling in the ear area, patients are also advised to wear a headband for a few weeks, so the full effects appear after the recovery is over. Finally, the otoplasty effects are permanent, so it is definitely worth investing in this procedure.
Otoplasty, as a medical procedure, involves some possible surgery risks. Of course, serious complications happen very rarely, and these moderate ones can be well-controlled, so they do not cause much harm when addressed properly. Of course, before making the final decision regarding otoplasty, patients need to be aware of all the possible otoplasty complications risks. Patients are also asked to sign in the documents that they realize the otoplasty risks. So, as mentioned, even though otoplasty is a safe procedure and the dangerous otoplasty risks side effects happen very rarely, it is good to get prepared for this aspect too.
Otoplasty, as any medical procedure, involves some possible surgery risks.
Well, there are some factors determining ear surgery cost. So, it is impossible to tell a universal cost of otoplasty.
First of all, the otoplasty price depends on what the surgery involves. Some patients need just a small correction of protruding ears, while others look for some serious deformities corrections. Obviously, ear pinback surgery cost would be lower than congenital defect ear correction surgery cost. So the complexity of the procedure plays a key role here. Also, a revision otoplasty cost is always more expensive than primary otoplasty because this procedure is much more demanding for a plastic surgeon.
The other factor that influences the price is the type of anaesthesia. The local anaesthesia makes the procedure cheaper. The general anaesthesia requires the presence of an anaesthesiologist, additional blood tests, and hospitalization, so the cost naturally increases. The third important price determinant is a surgeon’s reputation. Without a doubt, a board-certified experienced surgeon offers a higher ear pinning surgery cost or ear reduction surgery cost than a young plastic surgeon who has just graduated from the university and is at the beginning of his/her career. Lastly, the prices varies between the clinics. Each hospital has its own facility fees and surgical fees, also the more renowned clinic, the higher price of otoplasty tends to be.
Taking the above factors into considerations, we may conclude that the otoplasty prices vary greatly. We also advise patients that they check what is included in the price they are offered. Ideally, the price should contain medical tests, hospitalization, post-op garment, headband, and medications, so patients bear no extra costs connected to the surgery. Sometimes, these aspects are not included in the price, so patients must pay extra for it, and it is good to add it to the whole cost while comparing the prices.
Otoplasty cost depends on surgery scope and location of chosen plastic surgery clinic.
In the next section, we will try to answer the question:
Firstly, let’s see what are the average otoplasty UK prices.
Otoplasty UK is offered by each plastic surgery clinic, it is a simple procedure that is one of the most frequently chosen by patients. As for ear surgery cost UK, the prices vary depending on:
the city (otoplasty London is the most popular, and it poses the highest standard, so otoplasty cost London tends to be more expensive than e.g. otoplasty Manchester or Leeds)
type of the surgery (ear correction surgery UK may vary – e.g. ear pinning surgery cost UK is relatively low, so is the ear lobe surgery cost UK, while ear reconstruction surgery UK or some trauma ear correction surgery UK cost much more).
We can generalize that the otoplasty price UK varies from 2000 GBP to 5500 GBP. It is a huge discrepancy between the starting and ending price of otoplasty, yet, it may be better to understand the average cost of ear surgery UK, which is around 3750 GBP. Let’s check more details of otoplasty prices UK in the table below:
The lowest Price (roughly)
The highest price (roughly)
Average otoplasty price in the region
East of England
North East England
North West England
South East England
South West England
Yorkshire and the
In general, NHS does not fund cosmetic procedures as there are many more important medical procedure that restore health or even save life that need to be funded.
Yet, getting otoplasty NHS is not impossible. There are some exemptions and in some cases, people may try to get NHS otoplasty funding. These cases refer to people who: need otoplasty due to some serious ear trauma or deformity; ear reconstruction NHS is by all means possible, especially when aesthetic reasons are followed by reconstructive reasons; suffer a dramatic distress caused by their look; it usually refers to protrusive ears; this reason is taken into consideration especially in case of children. Yet, when adults are able to prove achieving the positive psychological changes and restoring mental health thanks to otoplasty, the NHS may also consider their case
Getting otoplasty NHS is difficult, but not impossible
How to get otoplasty on the NHS? Patients should start with contacting their GP. The doctor needs to make the first evaluation and qualification of a patient and if there are reasons for NHS funding, the GP approves the patient’s request and redirects him/her to a plastic surgeon. Then, patients have consultations with a plastic surgeon and psychologist. After all talks and tests, patients get the final decision – they are either qualified for NHS otoplasty and put on the waiting list for the surgery, or they are disqualified which means that they need to look for some private clinics. Realizing that the UK clinics may be expensive for many people, we would like to mention some other alternative, which is getting cheap otoplasty surgery abroad.
Otoplasty abroad is chosen by millions of people from all over the world each year. The modern world has given us a great opportunity to travel and get cheap otoplasty effortlessly and comfortably.
The reasons why people should consider cheap ear surgery abroad include:
The countries which are the most popular destinations for medical tourists in Europe are Poland, Turkey, Lithuania and Hungary. The sector of medical tourism there is greatly developed, so patients may feel totally safe going there. Often, they are amazed at such a high standard of healthcare in private clinics compared to such low prices offered by these countries.
Poland is a central European country located by the Baltic Sea. It is one of the leading countries in Europe as for medical tourism. Its private healthcare sets an example to other countries, Polish clinics use modern equipment, advanced technology, computerized solutions, and newest devices. What is also worth mentioning, Poland educates the best surgeons in the world, it includes plastic surgeons as well. It is agreed that the Polish plastic surgeons are top, world-class specialists and authorities for other nations. So, in terms of standard of the procedure, Poland is the best destination in Europe for medical tourists.
What is more, Poland has several international airports located near beautiful, unique cities – e.g. Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdańsk, or Kraków – it is really easy to get there by plane. The cost of flight tickets between Poland and the UK may be as low as 20 GBP (both ways included). We always advise international patients to grasp the most of their trip to Poland and visit the local places. There are so many historical spots, tourist attractions, nature areas (mountains, lakes, national parks), places filled with Polish culture and tradition, like restaurants or museums, so it is definitely worth visiting and experiencing the Polish culture while being there.
Returning to otoplasty, the average cost of otoplasty in Poland is 1090 GBP – it is amazingly low for international patients. This cost usually includes blood tests, hospitalization, medications, anaesthesia and dressings too. What’s more, many clinics offer all inclusive packages covering hotel and local transports.
Poland is the best destination in Europe for medical tourism.
Turkey is a country situated on the verge of Europe and Asia, which makes it a perfect destination for medical tourists coming from both European and Asian countries. Turkey is a number one country in terms of price. Otoplasty Turkey price can be as low as 700-800 GBP. It is incredibly low, even compared to Poland. The reason for such a low otoplasty cost Turkey is that the Turkish government strongly supports and funds medical tourism there.
The second great asset of Turkey are its packages. Almost each offer for otoplasty in Turkey contains the full all inclusive package with personal coordinator, luxury hotel accommodation, airport pickup and local taxi transfers. In fact, patients booking the surgery in Turkey do exactly the same steps as if they booked the holidays there. Turkey is very open to international patients and is really welcoming and friendly. The welcoming climate of the country allows for combining the surgery with summer holidays in the Sea resort. The healthcare in Turkey meets all the highest European standards, so patients can be certain about their surgery outcome. The most popular destinations in Turkey for otoplasty surgery are Antalya, Istanbul, Alanya and Izmir.
Turkey is very open to international patients and provide them with beneficial medical service packages.
Before choosing the clinic for otoplasty, we advise patients to read the otoplasty reviews. The opinions of former patients are a great source of knowledge and information of the clinic standard, its personnel, attitude and quality. It often helps people make the decision for or against some clinics and usually, the choices made based on the reliable reviews are perfect.
Before and after ear surgery photos are the best way to show the results that may be achieved after otoplasty. Seeing the real changes that people achieve in their ear look as well as observing how the whole face appearance changes is always impressive for people reviewing ear surgery before and after pics. Also, we advise that patients ask the plastic surgeons they take into consideration to share their patients’ otoplasty before and after UK photos. Such otoplasty before and after pictures give us much information about a surgeon’s skills, qualifications, expertise and reliability.
Done by Dominik Boliglowa, in Allestetis / Allmedica
Done in Allestetis / Allmedica
Done in Coramed
Done in Szczecin Artplastica
Done in Cayra Clinic
Done by Paweł Jaremków, in KCM Clinic
Done in Turkeyana Clinic
Done by Grzegorz Mocny, in Dworska Hospital
Otoplasty is a cosmetic ear surgery which aims at improving the size, shape or position of one or two ears. The most common type of this procedure is ear pinning surgery. Otoplasty is done to both adults and children, and apart from visual changes, it brings a massive psychological relief and improves mental health – especially in children and teenagers. The average cost of otoplasty in the UK is 3500-3750 GBP, which is quite costly. Yet, there are two alternatives making otoplasty accessible for many people. The first one is applying for NHS funding – however, this may be quite difficult as NHS is not prone to cover this surgery. The second alternative is getting the surgery abroad – e.g. in Poland or Turkey, where otoplasty cost starts from even 700 GBP. If you consider going abroad for the otoplasty surgery, contact Clinic Hunter and we will help you find the best clinic and the most affordable prices!
Contact Clinic Hunter for the best plastic surgery clinic and the most affordable prices!
Anthony P Sclafani, MD. “Otoplasty.” Practice Essentials, Epidemiology, Etiology, Medscape, 23 Dec. 2021, https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/839886-overview.
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“How Much Does Private Ear Pinning Surgery (Otoplasty) Cost in the UK?” How Much Does Private Ear Pinning Surgery Cost in the UK? | Private Healthcare UK, https://www.privatehealth.co.uk/conditions-and-treatments/ear-pinning/costs/.
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Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.
She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.
In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.
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