Sarah’s story - Bilateral Pinnaplasty

"Sarah's story"

Bilateral Pinnaplasty case study

  • Cosmetic Surgeon: Mr Hagen Schumacher
  • Procedure: Bilateral Pinnaplasty
  • Operation duration: Day case
  • Post-op consultation: One week, six weeks and four months post-surgery

Sophie’s cosmetic surgery journey, through her mother Sarah’s eyes

As a mother, Sarah never thought Sophie’s ears stuck out much more than what is usually considered ‘normal’.

However, by the age of 12 Sophie had become self-conscious about her ears and asked her mother if she was able to get her ears pinned back. Deciding she was too young, Sarah told Sophie she would have to wait until she was 16 and old enough to make the decision for herself.

From the beginning, Sophie’s father was more sympathetic than Sarah, who has never been an advocate of cosmetic surgery, apart from for medical purposes. As such, when Sophie finished her GCSEs it was put to her father to find a clinic as the surgery was unavailable on the NHS. Sarah gave her blessing, but still had reservations.

Sarah’s immediate worry was not about the procedure itself, but about the potential risk involved of the anaesthetic, given that her daughter was then severely underweight.

The first consultation

After being recommended to MyAesthetics, Sophie and Sarah went to the Islington clinic to meet Mr. Schumacher. As Sophie was already set on a clinic she had been to with her father, she wasn’t fully committed to going to the consultation and mainly went to please her mother.

They met with Mr. Schumacher and during the interview, Sophie’s mother mainly remained silent and let Sophie speak for herself. Sophie told the surgeon exactly what she wanted and listened attentively to the different options available to her.

Mr Schumacher explained Sophie would need a Bilateral Pinnaplasty, which involves making a cut at the back of the ear and peeling off some skin from the cartilage to change the shape of the cartilage, so the ear lies closer to the head.

Sophie came home from the consultation and chose to have the procedure at MyAesthetics based on the knowledge and professionalism of Mr. Schumacher.

Sarah was impressed Mr. Schumacher was open to addressing her questions surrounding her daughter’s small build. She’d done some research and discovered there could be negative side effects of anaesthetic if someone was below a certain weight.

Mr. Schumacher was fully supportive of Sarah’s worries and asked to be updated after Sophie visited her GP to ensure there were no medical issues causing her to lose weight. She was really happy the surgeon didn’t push her to book a procedure, straight after the consultation after discussing some of her concerns:

“I was incredibly impressed by the professionalism of the service and with the humanity with which the advice was delivered.”

As Sophie was under eighteen, Mr Schumacher requested that Sarah co-sign for her to have the procedure. Both Sophie’s parents were confident that MyAesthetics was the right option for their daughter.

The procedure

The procedure took place on the 17th July and Sarah was very impressed by the level of care shown to her daughter from all the staff involved at the hospital and MyAesthetics.

“I cannot fault the company. We had a lovely welcome and both of us were kept updated throughout the day on the procedure. During the pre-meds, the nurses had to take blood from Sophie and she fainted. It wasn’t a nice experience for her and she confessed to me after it had scared her, but the nurses made us both feel reassured.”

Sarah and her husband didn’t feel nervous about the surgery because of Sophie’s calmness and sense of conviction, as well as the trust they had in Mr. Schumacher.

Mr. Schumacher came to speak to Sophie before her procedure and talked her through what was going to happen. During the operation, Sarah even felt calm enough to leave the hospital to go for a swim back at their hotel.

The procedure lasted just under two hours and was a complete success:

After the operation Mr. Schumacher came to tell Sarah it had all gone well before Sophie arrived back on the ward from theatre. He was very complimentary about Sophie’s degree of maturity. He told Sarah it was very rewarding to work with Sophie, as ‘’she knows what she wants and is able to say. Unlike a lot of teenagers who look to their parents, Sophie didn’t.”

“The care we received at the hospital after Sophie’s procedure was outstanding. She was discharged at 18:30, but Mr. Schumacher was able to come and see Sophie before she was discharged and confirm everything was fine from the operation, reassuring us both before we went home.”

Recovery, follow-up and final stages

Sophie experienced some pain in the first couple of days but knowing what to expect post-surgery, she was prepared for it.

Mr. Schumacher saw her one week after the procedure, as he preferred to remove the dressings himself; then approximately six weeks later and a follow-up consultation four months later. The door is left open, to call MyAesthetics if either Sophie or her parents have any questions or concerns.

Sophie is now able to sleep on her side again and wears a headband to bed. The backs of Sophie’s ears are still a little sore, but this is normal for up to six months post-surgery.

The care and support Sophie was given throughout her experience with MyAesthetics made Sarah feel completely at ease:

“As a parent, there wasn’t specific support for me, but I personally didn’t feel as though I needed it. I knew what to expect and all of my questions and queries were answered by MyAesthetics, which was most helpful and made the whole thing a lot easier.

Sarah said that as a mother “I was so proud of the way Sophie has handled herself during the whole experience – even for things such as her thanking all the nurses on the way in and out of surgery.”

Sarah and her daughter have a very close relationship, but Sarah found after the operation Sophie was able to open up even more to her, about what she had been thinking and feeling prior to surgery:

“I don’t think I truly understood the impact Sophie’s ears had on her prior to surgery. The little things she wasn’t able to do, like wearing headphones because they fell out really affected her. She says there is absolutely nothing she is unhappy about now and has no regrets. As a mother, my happiness is her happiness and I would recommend MyAesthetics to anyone.”

The advice Sarah would offer to other parents

Following the procedure and its positive outcome, Sarah and her husband discussed whether they wished they had organised it sooner. However, they decided they were happy Sophie had the procedure when she did, as she was mature enough to make her own decision, based on all the facts presented to her and fully understood the potential risks and implications of the procedure.

“I would say when it comes to considering a cosmetic procedure, you need to listen to your child. However, it’s important not to rush into anything and to consider if there are alternative solutions first. Unless it is for medical purposes, I would encourage people to wait until the child is old enough to make the decision for themselves.

“It’s also important you thoroughly research cosmetic practices before booking a procedure and you feel you trust and are 100 percent happy with your surgeon, as we were with Mr. Schumacher.”

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