Ear Surgery

Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, reduces the size of large ears or 'pins' them back closer to the head so that they protrude less. There are a variety of other ear problems that can also be helped with surgery; these include lop ear, cupped ear and shell ear.

Surgical/Procedure Name


Common Name

Ear Surgery
Prominent Ear Correction (1 side or both sides)

Surgical Procedure

The technique used will depend on the nature of your problem. Generally the surgeon will make a small incision at the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. It will then be sculpted and bent back towards the head. Sometimes permanent sutures are put in to hold the new position. Occasionally, a larger piece of cartilage is removed to attain a more natural-looking fold after surgery. In a different technique, stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on itself and the cartilage is not removed.

In most cases, ear surgery will leave a faint scar at the back of the ear that will fade with time. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears to create a more even look.


1-3 hours


Local Anaesthesia - discussed with your surgeon

Pre Operative Care

Before surgery, please inform your surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription).

To eliminate the chance of post op. bleeding, you should avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin for 2 weeks prior to surgery. You should also not smoke for 1-2 months prior to surgery as smoking can affect your reaction to the anesthetic and slow down the healing process. Patients who suffer from hypertension must inform the surgeon prior to surgery.

Post Operative Care

Following surgery, your head will be wrapped in bandages to maintain the position and facilitate healing. The ears may throb or ache for a few days following the surgery. This is normal and will disappear with time. After a few days, the bandages will be replaced by a lighter head dressing and eventually a headband. It is very important that the dressings are worn at all times, especially at night when you go to bed. Sutures, if used, will be removed or will dissolve in about 1 week.

Each individual is different. However, following surgery, you may experience some of the following side effects: temporary throbbing, aching and swelling, redness and numbness. For the first few months, patients should avoid any strenuous activities or contact sports. You will be able to return to work or school within 5-7 days.

Risks and Complications

Like all surgical procedures, ear surgery has its own set of risks and side effects.


Knowing what complications may arise, as well as what can prevent them, will help patients enjoy a positive experience.

Possible Complications
  • Infection
  • Adverse Reaction to anesthesia
  • Need for second or more procedures
  • Bruising and swelling

In order to prevent any serious difficulties, patients are strongly urged to follow all instructions provided by their surgeon.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner