I feel it is important that anyone having surgery with me is aware of the possible negative sides of surgery and understands the small but real risks. The following paragraphs cover what happens when things occasionally don’t go as expected.
Like all surgery there are risks of complications whoever does your surgery. It is important you are aware that many of the problems you may get after your surgery if they are treated promptly have no obvious effect on the final outcome.
All otoplasty operations have a risk of (in order that they may occur):
• Bleeding: this may lead to more extensive bruising and swelling, but is unlikely to affect the final result. It is uncommon. There is a very remote possibility that the bleeding may require a return to the operating theatre.
• Infection: there is a very small risk of wound infection which would be expected to respond readily to antibiotics but may require a return to the operating theatre.
• Breakdown of the skin over the ears. This is normally in a small area over the cartilage and responds to dressings. Occasionally (less than 2%) further surgery is required to correct it.
• Asymmetry. Your ears are almost certainly not identical before the operation and will be different after the operation. This difference should be subtle and not attract attention. Sometimes the difference is enough to require re-operation (less that 2%)
• Poor scars: this is rare (less than 2%) although it is not uncommon for the scars to become slightly more visible for a while around the 6 -10 week mark. Treatment which works in most cases is available if this is troublesome.
• Sensation changes in the ear and cold sensitivity can last for several months.
• As this is a surgical procedure to deal with appearance no guarantee can be given to the final appearance, but if we agree it is an unsatisfactory result correction will be offered at no additional cost.
• All operations can result in longterm discomfort.
• All operations have a small risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), chest infection and Pulmonary embolism. Death following elective surgery is exceptionally rare (1:250,000 in fit and well people)
The majority of people who undergo otoplasty are very pleased with the result and feel it makes a very positive change to their appearance.