Procedures / Surgical / Ears
Improve the shape, position and proportion of your ears
If you have had a defect in your ear structure since birth or experienced an injury that caused a misshapen ear, ear surgery, also known as an otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion.
We can create a natural shape and bring balance and proportion to your ears and face. Fixing even minor deformities can have profound beneﬁts to your appearance and self-esteem.
Specifically ear surgery can treat:
- Overly large ears — a rare 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
If you're considering an ear surgery, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon. Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.
The best candidates for ear surgery
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.
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
What happens during ear surgery?
Correction of protruding ears uses surgical techniques to create or increase the antihelical fold (just inside the rim of the ear) and to reduce enlarged conchal cartilage (the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear).
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
Step 2 – The incision
Incisions for otoplasty are generally made on the back surface of the ear. When incisions are necessary on the front of the ear, they are made within its folds to hide them. Internal, non-removable sutures are used to create and secure the newly shaped cartilage in place.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
External stitches close the incision. Techniques are individualized, taking care not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural “pinned back” appearance.
Step 4 – See the results
Ear surgery offers near immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible once the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well-hidden in the natural creases of the ear.
If you have more questions about ear surgery, take a look at our resources and education section.