Surgery of the ear, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that helps reduce the prominent look or malformed shape of the ears. Ear surgery is common in both children and in adults. There is no doubt that prominent ears can be a source of teasing and ridicule, especially in young children. For younger patients, malformed ears can be a source of psychological stress. Many older patients presenting for ear reshaping surgery often say that they have been contemplating surgery for some time, usually even back to their teenage years, but haven’t had the courage to go through with it. Many patients have been teased or have felt self-conscious about their ears for much of their life.
It’s true that undergoing elective surgery requires an investment in terms of time, courage, and money. But once patients understand what surgery can accomplish, they are often reassured and decide that they can do it. Cosmetic procedures to reduce the prominence of the ears or make their shape more normal can significantly increase a person’s self-image and give them greater confidence. Earlobe surgery to reduce the size of the earlobes and to fix torn or stretched earring holes is also very common.
There is no “ideal” time to have ear-reshaping surgery. On the younger spectrum, once children begin to enter school and feel self-conscious about their ears, it is usually a good time to be discussing surgery with a surgeon. This can occur as early as age 5. The best way to decide whether or not it’s time for you to discuss surgery is to decide how much your ears are bothering you. If you feel you are ready for a change, then it’s time to discuss your concerns with your surgeon and develop a treatment plan.
Otoplasty may involve incisions, or may be amenable to “incisionless” techniques depending on the shape of the ear. There are numerous surgical techniques involved in correcting ear irregularities, and the specific technique is dependent on each patient’s specific ear deformities. Your specific concerns and surgical plan will be discussed during your consultation.
General (children) or local (most adults)
Length of surgery
1 to 2.5 hours
Length of stay
Outpatient (home the same day)