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Correction of Prominent Ears

Otoplasty — also known as cosmetic ear surgery — is a procedure to change the shape, position, or size of the ears.

Are you a candidate for Otoplasty?

Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5 — through adulthood. In some cases, the surgery is done as early as age 3.

Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry.

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

Surgical techniques used during otoplasty

Otoplasty techniques vary based on what kind of correction is needed. The specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.

Your doctor might make incisions:

• On the backs of your ears

• Within the inner creases of your ears

After making incisions, your doctor might remove excess cartilage and skin. He or she will then fold the cartilage into the proper position and secure it with internal stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions.

The procedure typically takes about two hours.

Infection, healing with a swollen scar (hypertrophic scar), blood accumulation under the skin (hematoma), and recurrence of the ear deformity are rare complications.

Post surgery and recovery

After otoplasty, your ears will be covered in bandages for protection and support.

To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side. Also try not to rub or place excessive force on the incisions. Consider wearing button-down shirts or shirts with loose fitting collars.

A few days after otoplasty, your doctor will remove your bandages. Your ears will likely be swollen and red. You'll need to wear a loose headband that covers your ears at night for two to six weeks. This will help keep you from pulling your ears forward when rolling over in bed.

There is no need for removing sutures since absorbable sutures are used. The pain is generally quite minimal. Following a few days of rest, patients can return to their normal lives.

Otoplasty results are permanent

After your bandages are removed, you'll notice an immediate change in the appearance of your ears. These changes are permanent.