What is ear surgery?

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. A defect in the ear structure that is present at birth or that becomes apparent with development can be corrected by otoplasty. This procedure can also treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

Otoplasty creates a more natural shape while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefit to appearance and self-esteem. If protruding or disfigured ears bother you or your child, you may consider plastic surgery.

What can ear surgery treat?

  • Overly large ears – a condition called macrotia
  • Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees – not associated with hearing loss
  • Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery

Who is a good candidate for ear surgery?

Children who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • Healthy, without a life-threatening illness or untreated chronic ear infections
  • Generally 5 years old, or when a child’s ear cartilage is stable enough for correction
  • Cooperative and follow instructions well
    Able to communicate their feelings and do not voice objections when surgery is discussed

Teenagers and adults who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery
  • Nonsmokers
  • Ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

What should I expect during a consultation for ear surgery?

The success and safety of your procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

During your ear surgery consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the procedure, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your plastic surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of ear surgery and any risks or potential complications

The consultation is the time to ask your plastic surgeon questions. It’s important to understand all aspects of your ear surgery. It’s natural to be nervous about it, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.