Consultant ENT, Head and Neck and Thyroid Surgeon

Otoplasty or Pinnaplasty or Ear Reshaping

If you have misshaped or protruding ears or you have a child who does, otoplasty may be for you. Otoplasty is the surgery to correct abnormalities in the structure of the ear. The surgery is often targeted for children who are age 5 or over. Some adults also choose to have cosmetic ear reshaping. The surgery is not just for protruding ears. Otoplasty can correct abnormally large ear lobes; "lop ear," which means your ear tip folds down, and trends forward; or "shell ear," which means certain features of a normal ear are missing, such as the curve in the outer rim and other natural folds.

If you are the parent of a child with awkward ears, it’s important to listen to all your child’s frustrations if he or she has been ridiculed at school or in other social environments. Having awkward ears can be downright embarrassing and can interfere with a child’s psychological and emotional development. Fortunately, this surgery can help avoid or correct these problems.

How is an otoplasty done?

The good news is that medical advancements have made it much easier to undergo an otoplasty. Currently, there are several ways the ear can be reshaped. The most commonly performed method involves folding and stitching that cartilage instead of cutting it away.

How do I prepare for an otoplasty?

You should plan to stay home for at least five days after the surgery. Children should stay home from school for at least one week and limit their activities.
The actual surgery will last about two to three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure for your particular case. Again, if your situation requires a more complex procedure, it may take even longer than three hours.

Recovery

When you are sent home, you will have a dressing on the ear. The dressing needs to stay on for 1 weeks.
You will have scars at the incision site behind the ear; however, these will fade over time.