Otoplasty is the name for a number of different operations to re-sculpt and reshape the ear. Beautiful ears have graceful, natural curves.

You should be able to look at the ear from different angles and the result should look good from all directions.

Surgery to correct protruding ears, can be performed at almost any age though the surgery is most often performed on children at age five or six when the ear has reached full development. Children can be cruel at times with teasing, giving their victims unkind nicknames. Otoplasty is especially helpful to eliminate psychological trauma when ears are corrected before the child starts school.

One of the more common methods involves making a small incision in the back of the ear, then sculpting the exposed cartilage and positioning it back toward the head. By reshaping the cartilage, the ears are placed closer to the head through incisions placed behind the ears so scars are well hidden. Occasionally, a piece of cartilage will be removed to provide a more natural looking fold.

If a child is young, general anesthesia may be used so the child will sleep through the surgery. For older patients, local anesthesia combined with a sedative will be used. Ear surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Generally, there are no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an adult.

A gauze bandage is worn for about a week after surgery so the ears will heal in their new, flat, position. Stitches are usually removed in about a week. Otoplasty leaves a faint scar behind the ear that will fade over time and is hidden in the natural fold of the ear.

Most adults will be able to return to work after about five days; children can go back to school after about a week.

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