Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)


Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) Prominauris is a condition where one or both of the ears have malformed cartilage that allows for a portion of the ears to protrude out from the head. For children, the teasing from peers can often be psychologically and emotionally painful. Adults and children over the age of 5 are candidates for surgery that can reduce the size of overly large ears or reshape the ears and bring them back to a normal position permanently. If you would like to improve the appearance of your ears, ear surgery or otoplasty might be right for you. 

If you or your child has suffered teasing for having ears that ‘stick out’, we offer you a complimentary consultation with one of our surgeons. Surgeries are done on children typically before they reach school of age 4-6, as the ears stop growing by age four. It's possible to perform the surgery on adults, and there are usually no additional risks with having the surgery as an adult. Adults often see a more dramatic difference because the ear contour they have seen their entire life can be changed with one procedure.

Additionally, if you have a newborn infant that has ears that stick out, are ‘scruncy’, or are folded over, we now over the EarWell Infant Ear Correction System, a nonsurgical procedure that predictably corrects over 90% of ear deformities. Find out more.

Our Team

Areas of Focus:
Head & Neck, including Sinus Issues, Sinus surgery, Allergy Testing, Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery, Head & Neck Tumor Surgery
Areas of Focus:
Allergy Testing, Ear Surgery to Restore Hearing, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery, Functional Nasal Surgery, including Rhinoplasty
Areas of Focus:
Sinus Diseases & Surgery, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Sinus Treatment, Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery, Tonsils & Adenoids

What to Expect

Preoperative Instructions:

  • Stop taking aspirin 14 days before surgery. Stop taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or other anti-inflammatory medicines 7 days before surgery. Narcotics and Tylenol (acetaminophen) are acceptable.
  • Do not eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight before surgery. If your child is having surgery, we will tell you what time to withhold food/drink.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.

After Surgery:

Please observe the following regarding care for your ear after surgery.

  1. After discharge from the hospital, you may resume most normal activities. You may not do any heavy lifting (nothing over 25 lbs.) and you may not do any vigorous exercises (jogging, tennis, aerobics). Do not bend. If you need to bend, bend at your knees.
  2. It is important to keep water out of your ear until cleared by your physician. To avoid water in the ear, work Vaseline into cotton ball and put it in the ear, then put more Vaseline on top of the cotton.
  3. You will have some packing in your ear that will prevent you from hearing well following surgery. Two weeks after surgery all packing will be removed, in most instances. Do not remove the packing yourself. Do not put anything inside the ear canal. This includes Q-tips.
  4. Do not blow your nose for two weeks after surgery. After two weeks, you may blow your nose gently, one side at a time, with your mouth open. If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open. You want to avoid generating too much pressure in your nose, as this may travel up your eustachian tube and displace the eardrum.

Things to do following ear surgery:

  • If you have a large, saucer-shaped Velcro dressing over your ear, you may remove it 48 hours after surgery. If there is a piece of gauze behind your ear, remove it then. At that time you may remove and change the cotton ball in your ear if it is present. After 48 hours, you may shower and get the incision wet.
  • Change the cotton ball as frequently as you’d like, but realize that thin, reddish-brown fluid will drain out of your ear. This is normal.
  • Keep antibiotic ointment on the incisions three times a day to help the sutures dissolve. Apply ointment after you shower.

Your hearing will be diminished after surgery due to the packing in your ear canal and/or middle ear. You may hear a variety of strange noises in your ear, such as cracking, popping, ringing, etc., and you may sense a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.


What are some of the risks of ear surgery (otoplasty)?

Many ear surgeries involve manipulation of the eardrum (tympanic membrane), and some require the removal of bone to facilitate the treatment of your ear disease. As with any operation, infection, scarring, and blood clot formation (hematoma) are possible. The facial nerve is at risk for injury or temporary weakness during any ear surgery. Dizziness following surgery may be expected. Hearing loss or ringing in the ear (tinnitus) may be more pronounced. Taste disturbance is not uncommon in certain ear surgeries for a few weeks following surgery and, in a few instances, could be prolonged or permanent.

Will I have scars after ear surgery (otoplasty)?

An incision may be made behind your ear, on your earlobe, or behind the pointed cartilage in front of your ear (the tragus). These areas normally heal without problems or obvious scars. Hair around the ear may or may not be shaved.

What activities can I do after ear surgery (otoplasty)?

Flying is usually permitted one month after surgery. Swimming may be allowed six weeks after surgery, but check with your doctor first before resuming swimming or other water sports. If your work is not strenuous and depending upon the type of surgery you've had, you may return to work 3 to 4 days from the date of surgery. Check with your doctor if your work requires heavy lifting.

Will I experience any issues hearing after my surgery?

Your hearing will be diminished after surgery due to the packing in your ear canal and/or middle ear. You may hear a variety of strange noises in your ear, such as cracking, popping, ringing, etc., and you may sense a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.

Our team of experts can answer any other questions you may have about this procedure. Please use the contact form on this page.