Ear Surgery - Otoplasty

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Self-conscious about your large or protruding ears? Achieve a more natural look that complements your features.

What is ear surgery (otoplasty)?

Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, is an aesthetic procedure designed to repair large or protruding ears, in addition to other irregularities including stretched, folded, cauliflower and cupped ears. The surgery can also reposition the ears closer to the head (a procedure known as ear pinning), reduce the size of the ears, or reshape bends in the cartilage. We perform all of these “ear tuck” and cosmetic procedures at our modern facilities.

Why have otoplasty or cosmetic ear surgery?

Prominent ears can occur for several reasons: they may be pushed outward by thick excess cartilage behind the ear, or the ear may have a cupped shape that causes them to curve outward and forward, rather than bending back toward the head. If the anti-helical fold – a portion of the ear that determines how close the ear rests to the head – is underdeveloped, it may also cause the ears to stick out. Cosmetic ear surgery can fix these frustrating issues and help you to achieve a more natural appearance.

Otoplasty results

Otoplasty is a safe, effective surgery that can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Your new, improved ear shape should be noticeable almost immediately after the surgery. You will love seeing ears that look natural and that complement your features, but don’t expect perfect symmetry; it’s both unlikely and unnatural to have perfectly symmetrical ears. Any surgical scar tissue will be minimal, well hidden behind the ear, and will likely fade over time.

Preparing for otoplasty

Your physician will provide detailed instructions to ensure that you are properly prepared for otoplasty. You will also receive guidelines on whether you need to avoid certain medications or supplements before and after your treatment.

What happens during otoplasty?

After a consultation with our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons, your physician will make a small incision behind the ear, draw the ear closer to the head, and trim away any excess skin and cartilage. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will also give the ear a more natural look by creating or enhancing the anti-helical fold and making small adjustments with carefully placed stitches and reducing excess cartilage as necessary. The full otoplasty takes about two hours to perform, and any small surgical scars are almost imperceptible once the area is fully healed. The goal is to create a lasting and natural improvement to the appearance of the ear.

Before surgery, ears are prominently being pushed outward by thick cartilage behind the ears.

Ears can be reshaped, resized or repositioned.

Correction of protruding ears uses surgical techniques to create or increase the anti-helical fold (just inside the rim of the ear) and to reduce enlarged conchal cartilage (the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear).

External stitches close the incision. Techniques are individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural “pinned back” appearance.

Recovery after otoplasty

Most patients recover quickly and easily after cosmetic ear surgery. You will experience some discolouration and swelling around the ears, but any discomfort can be treated with medication. You will also be required to wear a headband-style dressing around your ears for the first two weeks after surgery to help your ears heal into their new position. This headband may disrupt your sleep cycle, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your side, but most people can adjust to sleeping on their backs and avoiding any pressure on the ears. You should be able to resume most normal activities almost immediately after the surgery, with the important exceptions of strenuous exercise and any activity that puts undue stress on the ear.

Otoplasty benefits

  • Less prominent or protruding ears
  • Smaller, more well-shaped ears
  • A more natural, subtle appearance
  • Ears that complement your features
  • Higher confidence and self-esteem

Am I a good candidate for otoplasty?

During a one-on-one consultation, our physicians will determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for otoplasty. Typically, good candidates are non-smokers who have:

  • Good health
  • Realistic expectations for the procedure
  • Excessively large or unusually shaped ears
  • Prominent or protruding ears
  • Drooping earlobes
  • Ear deformities
  • No active infections

Next steps: Book your otoplasty consultation

If you’re ready to explore your cosmetic and surgical needs with our board-certified plastic surgeons, request a consultation today. During your consultation, your patient care coordinator will discuss:

  • Your medical history
  • Your aesthetic goals
  • Potential risks and complications

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