Large ears that stick out from the head can be a source of insecurity for many people. Prominent ear surgery (“otoplasty”) can be an option to address this concern.
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure used to change the shape or position of the ear. This surgery can be performed on children as young as 5 or 6, but we also regularly see adults for otoplasty.
Ear surgery is performed under either local or general anesthesia, depending on the specifics of each case. An incision is made on the back of the ear, and internal sutures are used to reshape the cartilage. We will reshape the ears so they are in proportion and sit at a flattering angle. In some cases, particularly for adults, small amounts of cartilage may need to be removed to achieve the best results.
Otoplasty results are immediately visible as soon as the dressings are removed. Reshaping the ear does not negatively affect hearing.
Prominent ears are fairly common in children. If a child begins to be bothered by their prominent ears, surgery can be considered as young as 5 or 6 and would be done under general anesthesia. We also see teens and adults who have had lifelong prominent ears but take more time to come to the decision to have surgery. In these cases, surgery can be done under local anesthesia in the office procedure room, and still has a very high satisfaction rate.
After ear surgery, you can expect to rest for about a week before returning to work or school. A supportive wrap is placed around the ears for the first five days to ensure they remain protected in the new position. Some discomfort is typical, but fairly minimal. Satisfaction rates are high for both children and adults.