About the Procedure

This procedure is performed through an incision in the natural fold behind the ear where it joins the head. The surgeon removes the necessary amount of cartilage and skin to achieve the desired effect. In some instances, the surgeon will trim the cartilage, shaping it into a more desirable form and pin the cartilage back with permanent sutures. In other cases, the surgeon will not remove any cartilage at all. Stitches will be used to hold the cartilage permanently in place.

After the surgery, soft dressings are applied to the ears and will remain in place for 72 hours, after which an athletic headband is worn as much as possible for 10 days. Most patients report little discomfort after surgery. Sleeping patterns may be disrupted for a week or so since no pressure can be placed on the ears.

The results of ear surgery are permanent. Patients report a stronger self-image and self-esteem, and many say they are happy to be able to wear their hair in a wider range of styles because they no longer feel the need to hide their ears.

Otoplasty is usually performed under intravenous sedation in children. Adults can elect for sedation, but many can tolerate just a local anesthetic.