Ear Surgery: Understanding Otoplasty 

Ear Correction Surgery 

Otoplasty, often referred to as ear correction surgery, primarily aims to address the projection of prominent ears or adjust the shape and size of one or both ears to achieve a more natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance. This surgical procedure, known for its effectiveness in treating protruding ears, is commonly sought to correct large or stretched earlobes and asymmetrical ears. Otoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery aimed at improving the appearance and self-esteem of individuals with prominent ears. 

What You Need to Know About Ear Surgery for Prominent Ears 

Typically, an ear’s natural angle from the mastoid region of the scalp is about 15 degrees. Patients with prominent ears may have ears that extend at a more pronounced angle, often warping into a “C” shape. Additionally, a condition known as lop ear deformity may cause a similar prominence. 

To conceal their prominent ears, children and adults might wear hats or keep their hair long, especially since children are often subjected to teasing. Although prominent ears can be treated in neonatal life through non-surgical methods such as taping or wearing a headband, surgical intervention, like ear pinning or ear correction surgery, is advised to wait until the child’s ear cartilage has matured sufficiently, typically after reaching 80% of its adult size, around the age of four. This timing is crucial to ensure the cartilage is resilient enough for the reshaping process involved in the surgery. 

Otoplasty Consultation 

During the consultation, a comprehensive medical history is taken, including any history of ear, facial, or scalp surgeries, and a physical examination is conducted. Hearing levels are assessed, and any ear cartilage abnormalities or asymmetry are identified. The goal of otoplasty surgery is to amend these irregularities, though achieving perfect symmetry may not always be possible. 

Otoplasty Surgery Operation 

Otoplasty surgery, also known as prominent ear correction, can be performed under general anaesthesia or sedation for adults. This surgical procedure aims to correct ears that stick out too far from the side of the head, addressing the prominence, shape, and asymmetries of the ears. It involves making incisions behind the ear, where the ear cartilage is either remodelled or partially removed if necessary. Various techniques may be employed depending on the specific ear abnormality, and these will have been discussed during the initial consultation. The incisions are then sealed with absorbable sutures, eliminating the need for suture removal post-operation. 


Post-surgery, patients are required to wear a head bandage, with options like a headband or a bandana post-bandage removal, to support the ears settling into their new position. This is particularly important at night and should continue for six to eight weeks. Initial recovery may include swelling, discomfort, and minor discharge at the surgical site, which generally improve over time. To aid healing, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain relief are typically prescribed. 

In some cases, patients may experience surgery nausea or a sore throat caused by the breathing tube used during general anaesthesia. It’s important for patients to be aware of potential out of pocket costs and understand that all plastic surgery, including ear surgery otoplasty, carries risks such as infection or an allergic reaction. Discussing these and any other specific concerns related to your medical history with plastic surgeons is crucial before proceeding with the operation. 

In some cases, further surgery may be required to refine the results or address any complications that arise after the initial recovery period. 


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