Otoplasty, or an ‘ear job’, is a surgical procedure designed to set prominent ears closer to the head in order to improve their overall shape or reduce their size. Prominent ears come in a myriad of forms, including cup ear, shell ear, bat ear and lop ear. Many patients attempt to camouflage the deformity with hairstyling.

Your surgeon will take a full medical history and examination, including any history of excessive bleeding or poor wound healing as the lobular and the back of the ear are two of the few areas on the body prone to keloid scarring. He will take a general assessment of the auricles: asymmetries, irregularities, position, size and shape of the ear will be noted and discussed with the patient. Auricles should measure 5-6 cm in height, and the long axis should recline approximately 20o from the vertical plane. The auricle should diverge from the occipital scalp at no greater than a 35o angle.

Preoperative photographs will be taken in standard frontal, lateral, and oblique positions. Additionally, a bird’s eye view from above and/or posterior views can help document lateralization. Close-up lateral and oblique photographs can aid in analysing the deformities in each ear.
A patient must also be judged to be cooperative with the postoperative regimen.

The surgeon makes a small incision on the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. The resulting scar will be hidden behind the ear.

The cartilage is then folded towards the head or, in cases requiring greater reduction, removed altogether, before inserting sutures to keep it in its new position.

An otoplasty typically takes between one and two hours.

  A bandage need only be worn for the first few days post surgery, after which it will be replaced with a lighter dressing that is similar to a hair band.

Stitches are usually resorbable, and the wound will be checked after a week.

You can return to work almost immediately, even the day after surgery if you wish. It is crucial, however, that the patient avoid activities where the ear may be pulled or bent for the first month, especially children who could be teased by siblings or friends.