Cosmetic Ear Surgery also known as Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that improves the size, shape, or position of protruding or uneven ears in children and adults. This can be performed at any age after the ears have stopped growing which is typically by age 6.

Depending on the individual characteristics of the prominent ear, correction may entail the removal of certain parts of the ear cartilage, scoring or dermabrasion of other parts of the ear cartilage, as well as the placement of mattress sutures to correct the angulation and the prominence.

The main reason clients seek otoplasty is to address asymmetries between the two ears. It is a good option to correct a birth defect that has affected the shape of the ear cartilage or lobe; make your ear appear smaller; or fix the position, and shape of uneven ears.


How it works?

Adults and older children may receive local anesthesia with a sedative during the procedure. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used. General anesthesia is typically recommended for younger children undergoing otoplasty.

The specific surgical technique that’s used will depend on the type of otoplasty you’re having. Generally speaking, otoplasty involves:

  1. Making an incision, either on the back of your ear or inside the folds of your ear.
  2. Manipulating the tissue of the ear, which can include removal of cartilage or skin, folding and shaping of cartilage with permanent stitches, or grafting of cartilage to the ear.
  3. Closing the incisions with stitches.

What to expect after treatment?

Knowing what to expect after otoplasty in terms of immediate aftercare, as well as the overall recovery period, can help patients determine whether it’s the right procedure for them.

  • After the surgery, the patient will most likely be wearing “fluff” bandages for healing.
  • After a few days, they can remove, and switch to progressively lighter bandages.
  • During recovery, most patients must also wear a headband in order to hold their ears in the proper position. This headband may be worn day and night, and later, only at night.


  • Otoplasty can correct a vast range of structural issues: Otoplasty is largely an elective, aesthetic procedure for addressing protruding or oversize ears. During this treatment, excess cartilage and skin are removed, and the ears are reshaped and pinned back. Otoplasty is perfect for addressing cupped, folded, small, or excessively large ears. It can additionally be used to normalize the appearance of “cauliflower” ears.
  • Patients can regain their confidence: The ears are rarely considered to be one of the most prominent features on the head. Unfortunately, however, they can be. When the ears are prominent, imbalanced, or excessively small or large, they can call attention away from other, more appealing aspects of the visage. Imbalanced or abnormally sized ears are not only highly conspicuous, but they’re often a common target of teasing and bullying. This can lead to diminished self-confidence that will affect a person across all areas of his or her life. With surgery, it’s possible to obtain a balanced and attractive look, as well as far more social confidence all around.
  • Patients can feel normal with otoplasty: For young children, this procedure will provide a greatly increased sense of normalcy. Absent of bullying and teasing, patients can place more of their focus on work and school. For many people, the results of this procedure allow for an entirely new outlook on life. Once the healing process is complete and their bandages are removed, many patients feel an intense sense of emotional release.
  • Enhanced Marketability: When issues with the size or shape of the ear are congenital in nature, many people receive otoplasty at a relatively young age. For adults, however, otoplasty can be an excellent way to achieve far higher levels of professional marketability. Given that people are becoming increasingly appearance-conscious, corrective, cosmetic procedures like this one are becoming ever more important.
  • Reshape the Earlobe with Otoplasty: The lobe is the one aspect of the ear that’s most likely to show evidence of wear and tear over time. This is especially true for consumers who enjoy wearing large and heavy earrings. The extra weight of this jewelry can cause the lobes to become stretched out, or even torn clean through. People who’ve had experience with spacers or gauges often suffer from displaced and misshapen soft tissues at the lobes. During this treatment, the top layer of the skin that surrounds any rip or hole will be removed. This will allow the doctor to reposition the remaining tissues for a cleaner and more natural look overall.
  • Pre- Treatment Instructions
  • Post-Treatment Instructions
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight, or the night before your surgery.
  • Avoid aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, Vitamin E, herbal supplements, and medications containing these compounds, for two weeks before surgery. Acetaminophen and a daily multivitamin are fine.
  • Refrain from smoking two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can result in scarring. This is the perfect time to give up the habit.
  • Avoid sun damage two weeks before surgery. While we recommend wearing SPF 30 or higher, our physicians and staff wear SPF 50 every day.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital. You will not be allowed to drive or leave alone. Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling. A recliner works well, or adding an extra pillow on your bed is adequate.
  • Expect to have a rather large head dressing. You may wash your face but keep the dressing dry. At the time of discharge, you will receive instructions to come back into the office the following day for the removal and replacement of the dressing. The replacement dressing will need to be left in place until your follow-up visit to the office approximately 5 days after surgery.
  • After the dressing is removed, apply bacitracin ointment to the incision lines 3 times daily for 2-3 days.
  • You may gently shampoo your hair after the dressing is removed, being careful not to bend the ears
  • Use care not to bend or hit your ears when brushing or styling your hair.
  • You may wear your glasses but they should be taped up so they don’t rest on the incision.
  • There will be some areas of decreased sensation or numbness. The sensation will return to normal over time. Be careful to avoid burns when using curling irons, blow dryers, etc…
  • Wear the headband over your ears day and night for one week, and then just at night for an additional week.


As with any surgery, there are risks. With otoplasty, more uncommon complications can include infection or bleeding. However, complications are rare and most people are extremely satisfied with the results. You should expect to experience mild to moderate pain; your surgeon will prescribe a painkiller if necessary. A prescription antibiotic in some cases is prescribed.

Contact your doctor immediately if:

  • You experience excessive bleeding or swelling.
  • If, for any reason, you have any trauma to your surgical site.
  • You develop a fever.

Session and Duration:

Otoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure. It can take between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the specifics and complexity of the procedure. Adults and older children may receive local anesthesia may be used. General anesthesia is typically recommended for younger children undergoing otoplasty.

The specific surgical technique that’s used will depend on the type of otoplasty you’re having. Generally speaking. otoplasty involves:

  • Making an incision, either on the back of your ear or inside the folds of your ear.
  • Manipulating the tissue of the ear, Which can include removal of cartilage or skin, folding and shaping of cartifle with permanent stitches, or grafting of cartilage to the ear.
  • Closing the incisions with stitches.

Contradictory treatment:

Some contraindications can arise with this procedure. These include:

  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection with any surgery. Receiving prompt treatment with antibiotics can help prevent further complications.
  • Bruising: A hematoma, or blood clot, can form under the skin of the ear. It may appear in 1-3 days after surgery. Pain is the primary symptom.
  • Recurrence: Sometimes, the ears may start to stick out again, and revision surgery could be necessary.
  • Unsatisfactory appearance: Sometimes, the results of reconstruction or cosmetic surgery are not what the person expected. The ears may be asymmetrical, too close to the head, or too far from the head.
  • Numbness: The ears may be numb for several weeks following surgery.


If my child has bat ears/ cup ears/ prominent ears, when should he/she have the surgery?

Surgery can be done when the child reaches six years old. This is before they enter primary school. The scar is hidden in the fold behind the ear & will not be visible.

How long does the surgery take?

It usually takes about 90 minutes which would be performed under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia with light sedation depending on the severity of the prominent ears and how much correction is desired; and the age of the client.

What are the complications associated with this surgery?

Pain, Bleeding, Infection, and Scarring of the skin are a few complications along with the recurrence of the original shape.

What is the recovery time?

Patients can return to their normal work within a week or school within 2 weeks.

For more information on otoplasty, you can book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon at Healthy Choice Aesthetic Hospital.