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Otoplasty (Ear) Cosmetic Surgery

Otoplasty is an ear surgery to correct protruding, large, cupped, shelled ears or otherwise deformed earlobes. The surgery is best recommended for children as they near total ear development at age fiveOtoplasty is an ear surgery to correct protruding, large, cupped, shelled ears or six. This procedure can also help in situations after an injury. Adults may also have their ears reshaped.

In the case of protruding ears, the supporting tissue of the ears, called cartilage, is reshaped in order to position your ears closer to your head.
This usually is accomplished through incisions placed behind the ears. The scars will be concealed in the natural skin crease. In some cases, especially in ears that need to be reduced in size or are protruding in the middle 1/3 of the ear, external incision of the front of the ear will be necessitated. Usually these are placed in areas where they will heal in a more inconspicuous manner. In ear reductions, skin as well as cartilage will most often need to be removed.

Usually the final results of the ear surgery are very long lasting.

It is best to discontinue aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs that can cause increased bleeding prior to surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions. Aesthetic ear surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Necessary medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. A combination of local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing ear surgery. In younger children general anesthesia may be desirable. In certain general anesthesia cases, an overnight hospital stay may be appropriate. Under normal conditions, time in surgery is about two hours. As in the case with any surgical procedure the vital parameters like ECG, blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation are continuously monitored.


Techniques vary among surgeons the factors that may impact the choice of technique include the general anatomy of the ears, the extent of the ear cartilage, excessive skin in the surrounding area or level of deformity in other areas of the ears.

There are two common otoplasty techniques:

The most inconspicuous site for incision on the back of the ear is first located. Once the incision is made, cartilage is sculptured and re-positioned closer to the head for a more natural appearance. In most cases non-removable stitches are used to help the cartilage maintain its position. Depending on the anatomy in certain cases, the surgeon may choose to remove excessive cartilage in order to enhance the ultimate appearance of the ear.

In the second technique, the cartilage is left untouched, the skin is removed and the ear cartilage is folded back. Non-removable stitches are used to help the cartilage maintain its position. Dissolvable or removable stitches are used for the incision location, which are removed or dissolve within a week.

For total ear reconstruction, otherwise known as congenital microtia (ear absence), a common approach begins with developing a framework from the ribs, then elevating the back and placing a skin graft. It would be necessary (in most cases) to rotate the lobule in order to carve out the ear canal. Ears that are malformed due to trauma (including burns) may undergo a reconstruction process, possibly with more extensive skin grafting, depending upon the extent of the tissue damage.

After the procedure you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. You probably will be permitted to go home after a short period of observation, although some patients may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.


There are no major complications following Otoplasty. Every year, many successful cosmetic ear surgeries are performed, without experiencing any major problem.


It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.The first several days you should maintain head elevation as much as possible. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications.

Initially, pain is usually controlled with oral medication. Some patients find that mild swelling persist for many weeks. Bruising typically disappears within seven to ten days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery.

After surgery, you may be instructed to wear gauze dressing or bandage for a few days or up to several weeks to ensure that your ears heal in their new, corrected position. Often a ski band to cover the ears is worn at night to prevent the ears from bending during sleep.

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Most people return to work at 7- 10 days.


The other related Cosmetic Procedures are:


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