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Ear Surgery to Correct Prominent Ears

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The surgeons in the Einstein Division of Plastic Surgery are specially trained and experienced in cosmetic ear surgery (also known as otoplasty),to change the shape and size of ears. This surgery is usually done on both ears to enhance symmetry and bring balance and proper proportion between the ears and face. The surgery won't change the location of the ears or affect hearing. 

Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size, which is usually after the age of 5.

How Does Ear Surgery to Correct Prominent Ears Work?

Your surgeon will make incisions on the backs of your ears or within the inner creases of your ears in order to remove excess cartilage and skin. The ear will then be bent back toward the head or cartilage will be folded and secured with internal stitches to bring the ear closer to the head. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions.

What Can I Expect During and After the Procedure?

Your physician will provide you with detailed information about your procedure, but in general:

  • Sometimes the procedure is done with sedation and local anesthesia, which numbs only part of your body. In other cases, general anesthesia, which makes you temporarily unconscious, is issued.
  • The procedure typically takes about two hours and is usually performed on an outpatient basis.
  • After surgery, your ears will be covered in bandages for protection and support.
  • Your doctor may give you antibiotics and pain medication for the mild discomfort you may experience for a few days.
  • To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side. It's also best to wear shirts with loose-fitting collars.
  • A few days after surgery, your doctor will remove your bandages. Your ears will likely be swollen and red. You'll need to wear a loose headband that covers your ears at night for two to six weeks. This will help keep you from pulling your ears forward when rolling over in bed.
  • Most adults return to work about five days following ear surgery. Children can return to school after about a week.

Both adults and children must avoid strenuous activities for two weeks. 

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