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Otoplasty (Ear Reshaping)

Otoplasty is a procedure designed to correct ears that are protruding or proportioned differently- in other words, it is a procedure used to reshape the ears. Otoplasty can be performed on both children and adults. The goal is to create a symmetric shape and to improve the proportions of the ears in relation to the face.

For children, otoplasty is generally performed before they begin school in order to prevent any potential teasing by their peers. In the event of a trauma in which a patient loses at least a part of an ear, otoplasty can be performed to correct the effects; otoplasty can also repair tears caused by large earrings. Otoplasty is also capable of correcting earlobe irregularities by making both ears more similar in size and shape.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia
  • Incisions are placed behind the ears
  • Sutures are placed within the ear cartilage such that the ears can be repositioned closer to the head if necessary
  • Ear cartilage may need to be excised
  • Ear lob prominence, if present, can be corrected


  • External sutures are usually removed after 7 days
  • A head pressure dressing is placed bilaterally over the ears for about 3 days
  • Antibiotic ointment is placed on the incision
  • The patient may be instructed to wear a headband for several weeks to keep the ears in the correct position
  • The patient is instructed to stay away from heavy exercises for 2-3 weeks. Contact sports and helmet use are not recommended for 6-8 weeks.

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