Otoplasty or ear reshaping surgery is a cosmetic surgical that can improve the shape, size and position of the ears. A defect in the ear structure that is present at birth or that becomes apparent with development can be corrected by otoplasty. This procedure can also treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

This surgery reduces large or protruding ears by setting them closer to your head, as well as molding, shaping and/or removing cartilage.

Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size, usually after age 5 through adulthood. In some cases, the surgery is done as early as age 3.


You may want to consider otoplasty if you have;
- Overly large ears – a condition called macrotia
- Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees – not associated with hearing loss
- Unhappy with previous ear surgery
- Ears misshapen due to injury or accident
- Defect from childbirth

During your consultation, you and your plastic surgeon will discuss why you need the surgery, and what you hope to achieve. You will also discuss the process of the surgery and everything that will be involved until your recovery period. You should be completely open with the doctor about your expectations, concerns and habits. Your medical history will be evaluated to determine candidacy for the surgery. The doctor will also take photos of your ears so that you can see the difference after the surgery.

There are certain guidelines that the doctor will advise you to follow before the surgery, like maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regularly, stop smoking at least three weeks before the surgery, to strictly avoid anti-inflammatory drugs or medicines having aspirin so that the risk of excess bleeding is reduced.

The Otoplasty surgery is carried out in a hospital setting in an outpatient or inpatient basis. It lasts for two hours under local or general anesthesia, and you will be allowed to go home afterward.

There are several ear surgery methods, and their usage depends upon your case and expectation. Your surgeon might make incisions either on the backs of your ears or within the inner creases of your ears. After making incisions, he or she will remove excess cartilage and skin, then the cartilage is folded into the proper position and secures with internal stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions. Internal, nonremovable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place.

Following the surgery, your ears will be covered with bandage for protection and support which will be removed after three to four days. You will feel some discomfort, pain and itching. Pain medications will be prescribed by your doctor. After removal of bandage you will notice some swelling or redness which is very common, your surgeon will guide you with precautions to take in order to avoid any complication.

In order to have successful long-lasting results it is important to follow the below:

- Keep on taking the medicines as per your doctor’s prescription.
- Ice packs must be used to minimize swelling and discomfort.
- Proper rest must be taken for a week after the surgery.
- Avoid vigorous activities which can trigger increased blood flow.
- While sleeping, use extra pillows and keep the head elevated.
- Do not rest your head on the treated ear side.

It is important to attend follow-up appointments with your doctor to keep track of your progress.

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