Prominent Ears, Otoplasty

Otoplasty Surgery

Ear reshaping surgery, or otoplasty, is a procedure that is used to ‘pin back’ overly prominent ears. The goal is to achieve a natural appearance, with the ears in harmony with the rest of the face. The operation is more commonly performed in childhood but is also successful in the adult. All incisions are small and well hidden at the back of the ear. It can provide great psychological benefits to anyone who has been teased about the size or shape of their ears, has had a serious ear injury, or simply wants to improve their appearance.



Otoplasty surgery may be helpful for the following conditions:

  • Large or protruding ears
  • Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)
  • Cupped ear (a small ear)
  • Large, stretched, or torn earlobes

An incision is made behind the ear to gain access to the cartilage, which is then is reshaped, contoured and then sutured into a more aesthetically pleasing position.

Incisions nearly always camouflage nicely in the natural crease on the back of the ear. The skin is then closed and a bulky dressing and headband is applied for about five days.


The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic as a day case, but children often choose to stay a night in hospital.

Following surgery, a bulky bandage will be placed over the ears to protect them for 5-10 days as well as helping control the swelling. Patients can usually return to work or school once the bandage has been removed. After this period, the patient is encouraged to wear a tennis headband to bed for another 4-6 weeks to protect the newly reshaped cartilage.

Most patients report very little pain after this procedure, although there may be a little discomfort or soreness if you bump your ears over the first few weeks.


If you are considering otoplasty surgery then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.

While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.

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