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Ear reshaping (otoplasty)

Ear reshaping surgery, or otoplasty, is used to correct structural ear abnormalities. Some patients choose the procedure if they feel they have ears that protrude or are overly large or misshapen. Though the surgery will improve the appearance of the ears, it does not affect or enhance hearing. Our surgeons have specialized training and years of surgical experience to provide you with the best possible outcomes.

Ear reshaping: What you need to know

  • The surgery works best on children ages 4 to 14, but some adults do undergo ear surgery.
  • A small, inconspicuous incision is made in the ear, allowing access to the cartilage. After the surgery is complete, the incision site is secured with stitches.
  • The ear can be reshaped by cutting out the cartilage (the main structural component) of the ear or folding and stitching that cartilage rather than cutting it away.
  • Depending on the complexity of the reshaping, the surgery typically will last about two to three hours.
  • For adults undergoing otoplasty, a local anesthetic is used with a sedative, or general anesthesia may be required. A child will likely receive general anesthesia to ensure that he or she does not move during the operation.
  • The surgery is completed within a few hours and patients go home the same day. Sometimes, in the case of children, an overnight stay in the hospital is required.
  • Complications are rare and most people are extremely satisfied with the results. Side effects include pain and swelling. As a preventive measure, an antibiotic may be prescribed to fight against infection.

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