American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Otoplasty

Ear Surgery

Ear surgery, or otoplasty, improves the shape, position and proportion of the ear. It can correct a birth defect of the ear structure.

What is ear surgery?


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Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. 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.

Otoplasty creates a more natural shape while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits to appearance and self-esteem. If protruding or disfigured ears bother you or your child, you may consider plastic surgery.

What can ear surgery treat?

  • Overly large ears – a condition called macrotia
  • Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees – not associated with hearing loss
  • Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery

Who is a good candidate for ear surgery?

Children who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • Healthy, without a life-threatening illness or untreated chronic ear infections
  • Generally 5 years old, or when a child's ear cartilage is stable enough for correction
  • Cooperative and follow instructions well
  • Able to communicate their feelings and do not voice objections when surgery is discussed

Teenagers and adults who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery
  • Nonsmokers

Ear surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.



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