Otoplasty [Prominent Ear Correction]

What is Otoplasty?

Prominent Ear correction or Otoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that corrects and improves the shape and position of the ear. Ears that protrude are placed back in a more natural position. The shape can also be improved so that the ear appears more natural. This facial cosmetic procedure is relatively simple and can significantly alter both the emotional status and appearance of a patient.

You might consider otoplasty if:

  • Your ear or ears stick out too far from your head
  • Your ears are large in proportion to your head
  • You’re dissatisfied with a previous ear surgery


Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5.

Otoplasty won’t change the location of your ears or alter your ability to hear.

How is otoplasty performed?

Otoplasty is usually performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.  In adults, otoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local or regional anesthesia. They can go back home immediately after the procedure. In children under the age of 8, general anesthesia is usually administered to keep them still during the procedure. All incisions are made behind the ear so there are no visible scars after the operation. If the ears are protruding, they may be rotated backward. If some of the natural folds of the ear are missing, they can be created from tissues taken from other parts of the ear or body. Ears that have been injured and are thickened can be thinned and sculpted. At the end of the operation, a pressure dressing is placed over the ear(s) to hold it in place while it heals.

What to expect after the Surgery?

After ear surgery a soft padded bandage will be placed around your head to protect your ears and to hold them in place. This is usually removed a week after the procedure and it is advisable to wear a stretchy headband or stocking cap for two weeks after surgery, particularly at night. Generally, it is not a painful operation but the ear does feel numb from the surgery for some time. Most people would be able to return to work or school within one week. Some bruising and swelling is expected but it tends to go away reasonably quickly in the first week or two. Ear surgery can offer a real emotional boost in addition to its cosmetic benefits.

What are the risks of otoplasty?

With proper postoperative care, otoplasty is a very safe and satisfying operation that carries little risk. Possible ear surgery complications include reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, blood clot, unfavorable scarring, asymmetry and cosmetic dissatisfaction.

Is it a painful procedure?

Most patients experience some mild discomfort the first night. This is well controlled with mild pain medication.

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