Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, is used to reshape one or both ears. Patients who are dissatisfied with the size, shape or orientation of their ears can alter their appearance through this procedure. Otoplasty also includes ear/earlobe reduction and cauliflower ear surgery to remove and recontour excess skin and cartilage. Due to the ears being very prominent, many cosmetic ear surgery patients experience a significant increase in confidence and self-esteem once their ears have been given a more desirable appearance.
Ear surgery for children or adults can set prominent ears back closer to the head and reduce the size of large ears. Surgery may also be helpful for “lop ear,” “cupped ear” and “shell ear,” large or stretched earlobes, and lobes with creases and wrinkles. The procedure lasts from two to three hours and may be performed in a hospital, office facility or an outpatient surgery center under general or local anesthesia.
If you have misshapen or protruding ears or you have a child who does, otoplasty may be for you. In a perfect world, the surgery works best on children who are aged four to 14. But adults do undergo the surgery — it’s just that by this point in your life, you’ve probably heard all the teasing and you probably have suffered the psychological effects. Still, it’s never too late to make a change.
This surgery isn’t just for protruding ears, either. Otoplasty can correct other ear conditions including:
- Abnormally large earlobes
- Lop ear (ear tip folds down and trends forward)
- Shell ear (certain features of a normal ear are missing, such as the curve in the outer rim and other natural folds)