Ear surgery is a procedure that can be performed in both adults and children however the cartilage in the ear of children is more flexible and easier to mould. The operation is can still be successful for adolescents and adults.
If close inspection is performed, your ears will probably not be identical prior to surgery. Significant effort is made to ensure that the ears are as close to the same shape as possible however there will always be some differences. During normal interactions with other people only one ear will be viewed at a time and it is unusual for others to notice these differences. If you closely inspect the people you know, you will notice that differences from one side the other are quite common and usually go unnoticed.
Most children will have a general anaesthetic. Many adults will also choose to have a general anaesthetic. If this is the case, you operation will need to take place in a hospital. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic and if this is the case your procedure can be performed in the operating suite at our clinic. Uncommonly, children as young as 12 years old will quite comfortably have this procedure performed under local anaesthetic.
For the vast majority of people the scars from this procedure are concealed behind the ear, very fine and rarely noticed. In a very small number of patients, the scar may undergo abnormal changes and even become a keloid scar. Most of these scars will flatten and settle over six months to a year. If the scar is misbehaving, there are other things that can be done to maximise the outcome.
At the end of the operation, Dr Magnusson will put a bulky bandage on your head. This bandage needs to stay in place for between seven and 10 days. This bandage helps protect the ear in its new shape during the early stages of healing. It also puts gentle pressure on the wounds to reduce the amount of bleeding and bruising that occurs under the skin.
Following the removal of the bandage, patients will wear a broad headband at night for the next five weeks to protect the ears. Care should be taken to avoid trauma to the ears and avoid contact sports for eight weeks.
The operation of otoplasty is considered reconstructive by Medicare. This means that there is a Medicare benefit for all patients. If you have a private health fund you will also receive a benefit from them and they will contribute to the hospital costs.
If you do not have private health insurance, you will still receive a Medicare benefit that will contribute to the cost of your anaesthetist and Dr Magnusson, however there will still be a gap to pay. Medicare does not contribute to hospital costs and they will be out of pocket expenses.
Your contract with your health fund is for hospital cover and does not fully cover your medical expenses (anaesthetist, assistant surgeon and Dr Magnusson). Your Medicare and health fund rebates will therefore not cover your medical costs completely and this gap will represent an out of pocket expense.
For further information about your own policy you should contact your health fund.