Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)
Many of us go day to day without giving much thought to our ears. For those individuals who have asymmetrical, misshapen or protruding ears, their appearance can bring on a daily sense of anxiety or lack of self-confidence. Placed directly on either side of the head, the ears add balance and symmetry to the face, especially for those with short hair, or who enjoy wearing their hair off their face.
Dr. Barr offers extensive knowledge and experience to surgically correct a wide variety of aesthetic problems related to the face and body, including the ears. The otoplasty procedure performed at Barr Plastic Surgery, corrects protruding, misshapen, oversized or deformed ears, as well as deformities in the cartilage of one or both ears caused either by genetics or traumatic injury in children, teens and adults. This procedure is the most common route to correct the physical characteristics of the ears, since this surgery can dramatically improve one’s self-esteem. Otoplasty can be performed on any ideal candidate after the age of 5, as it allows children the maturity to aid in maintaining their dressings and be a participant in their own care.
Educate Yourself on Your Procedure
If you are a patient considering an otoplasty procedure, please continue reading for further information on this procedure and what you can expect. If you have any questions about ear surgery, or any of our other procedures, please contact us.
Preparing for Your Otoplasty Procedure
What is the first step in pursuing the otoplasty procedure?
The first step when considering ear surgery is to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Barr. The consultation process provides an opportunity for you to obtain important information about the procedure and to have all of your questions answered prior to proceeding with otoplasty surgery. It also enables Dr. Barr to properly assess you and determine whether you are a suitable candidate for ear surgery.
You should be prepared to discuss your medical history, including any past and present medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries, and all current medications. History of high blood pressure, thyroid problems, allergies, diabetes, will also be reviewed as these medical conditions may increase the risks associated with ear surgery. Measurements and post-operative photographs will be taken during this assessment.
During your consultation Dr. Barr will carefully examine your ears and will assess your general health. You may be asked to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. This assists Dr. Barr in better understanding your expectations and determining whether they can realistically be achieved. Different surgical approaches and options will be discussed and he will explain which surgical approach would be best suited to you based on your individual characteristics and aesthetic goals.
The benefits, risks and potential complications associated with otoplasty surgery will be thoroughly explained during this consultation. The information provided at this initial consultation will be comprehensive and thorough, and should enable you to make an informed decision as to whether or not otoplasty is the right choice for you. A comprehensive instruction package will also be provided to you at the time of consultation, and includes instructions for before and after surgery as well.
Can I combine another surgery with my otoplasty procedure?
It may be possible to schedule another surgery at the same time as your otoplasty procedure. You should be prepared to discuss all possibilities during your consultation with Dr. Barr.
What will I need to do prior to surgery?
Prior to your ear surgery you will be scheduled for a pre-op session with a Registered Nurse to review your medical history and your post-op instructions. She will review all of the information you will need to know to prepare yourself for surgery.
Where will my otoplasty procedure be performed?
Your procedure will be performed within the state-of-the-art facilities of Barr Plastic Surgery, located within the Northern Ontario Surgical Centre.
Northern Ontario Surgical Centre has been awarded accreditation by the CAAASF (Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) for meeting the standards of a hospital in regards to monitoring, emergency and resuscitation equipment. With two levels and entrances that conceal the actual size of the facility, the centre itself spans 8000 square feet and incorporates fully equipped major and minor operating rooms, a monitored multi-bed recovery area, 10 laser and treatment rooms, spacious consultation areas, private offices to discuss financing options, elegant waiting areas and a private waiting room and secure rear entrance/exit for additional privacy when desired.
How is an otoplasty procedure performed?
Otoplasty surgery is performed under local anaesthesia and sedation in individuals over the age of 10. In younger children, the procedure is done under a brief general anaesthetic.
During ear surgery, a small incision is placed behind the ears, through which the cartilage is sculpted and reshaped and the excess skin is removed. If necessary, cartilage is removed to ensure the ears are positioned more closely against the head. The skin incision is closed with a dissolving suture. A dressing is applied which stays in place for a period of 7 to 9 days. The scars behind the ear fade over time and eventually become virtually undetectable.
Who will administer the anaesthetic?
A board-certified anesthesiologist will administer your anaesthetic, stay with you during the entire operation, and will be there as you wake up.
Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
During office hours our Patient Coordinators and nursing staff are available to answer any questions or concerns following your surgery. After hours, Dr. Barr is available by pager.
How much does an otoplasty procedure cost?
Pricing for your ear surgery procedure will depend on whether you have concurrent procedures along with your otoplasty, and will be provided to you during your consultation. Otoplasty is covered by OHIP for patients under 18 years of age.
Patients choosing to invest in their self-confidence and happiness through cosmetic surgery have many options available to make this investment more manageable. Our Patient Coordinators are familiar with various payment options and can facilitate the process for you.
Is full payment required or do you offer a financing plan?
Affording your procedure can be made simpler by using a medical/dental financing company which enables you to pay for your surgery with monthly payments. Please note that these companies are not affiliated in any way with Barr Plastic Surgery.
For more information on how financing companies can help you afford your procedure, visit:
- Fax, online, phone application
- Approval within 1 business day
- Payment terms: 6 months to 5 years
- No down payment
- Rates based on overall credit history (11.9% – 25%)
- No penalties for early payments
Is my procedure covered by insurance?
Otoplasty is covered by OHIP for patients under the age of 18.
What is included in the surgical fee?
The facility fee, surgeon, nurses, anaesthesia and anaesthetist, surgical supplies, and equipment used are all covered in the fees.
You will also be provided with prescriptions for medications to be taken after surgery. These prescriptions are subject to the same coverage you would receive from your medical insurance. If you do not have personal insurance then medications will be at an additional cost to you.
Is a deposit required? When is it due?
There is a $500 deposit for any surgery under $5,000 and a $1000 deposit for any surgery over $5000.
This deposit is payable upon scheduling a surgery date. This fee is non-refundable should you change, reschedule or cancel your surgery within 4 weeks of the surgery date.
When is payment for the surgery due?
Payment for your surgery is due 14 days prior to your surgery date. Payment can be made by:
- Certified Cheques
- Mastercard or VISA
- Financing plan
Will I need to stay overnight following my surgery?
Otoplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure and does not require an overnight stay at Barr Plastic Surgery. Following your surgery you will need a friend or family member to pick you up and care for you for 24-48 hours. This person should also be familiar with your prescriptions and post-surgery instructions.
How long will it take me to recover from my otoplasty procedure?
Dr. Barr’s extensive experience in performing this procedure will help to ensure that your post-operative recovery is minimized. Otoplasty surgery is usually performed as an outpatient surgery, meaning you will be discharged within a few hours of surgery. A gauze dressing is to be worn around the head for a period of 7 to 8 days. During this time, the dressing will hold your ears in their remolded position.
Upon removal of these dressings, a headband is to be worn at night for 6 weeks to protect against accidental bending of the ears during sleep. Diving and helmets, which pull on the ears, must be avoided for a period of 6 weeks following the surgery. You may return to school/work the day the dressings are removed (approximately 7-8 days following surgery).
Dr. Barr and his highly trained medical staff will be available for any questions or concerns throughout the healing process.
Will I have scarring?
Dr. Barr takes every precaution to ensure your scarring as minimal as possible. However, as with any surgery, there is a chance of scarring from the incisions. Once your incisions have healed there are products that can be used to minimize the redness in scars as well as improve the texture. Reusable silicone strips as well as medical grade topical scar creams are available for purchase that will help to reduce the discolouration found in new scars. Precautions that should be taken to minimize scarring will be discussed during consultation.