Prominent Ear Correction (Otoplasty)

Prominent Ear Correction (Otoplasty)

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure performed to reposition, reform, or reshape the external ear (also known as the pinna or auricle). The pinna facing correction here may be too large or could be having some abnormalities.

Additionally, some infants are born without the pinna, or some may have underdeveloped ears that can also be corrected through surgery by recreating the folds in the ear. Nonetheless, otoplasty is most commonly performed on large, protruding ears, which can be a source of ridicule, especially in children.

While external ear deformation could occur in anyone, it is less prevalent in Caucasians as only 5% of the population have prominent ears. However, if you or your child has been struggling with any form of pinna deformities, feel free to reach out to one of our plastic surgery UK experts for a consultation.

Consultation and Diagnosis

Otoplasty can be performed on anyone aged over six years, and so, most of our patients tend to be children and teenagers, although some adults also seek to have the procedure. At six years, the ear’s growth is usually considered complete in more than 90% of people. But then, depending on the case, younger kids aged two weeks and older can have their ears splinted as it grows, reshaping them to fit the desired aesthetic preferences.

The main reasons we receive for coming for the procedure from our patients are self-consciousness after being bullied, embarrassingly protruding ears, and visibly disproportionate ears to the rest of the face.

Whichever your reason for the surgery is, know the best decision you’ll have made is coming to our plastic surgery London clinic. Before proceeding to surgery, our physician will go over the patient’s ear-related family health history, previous surgeries, medications being taken at the time of seeking surgery, and underlying conditions, if any. The surgeon will also discuss the post-otoplasty results to ensure that the patient understands the procedure and manages their expectations.

The Otoplasty Procedure

Since most patients are young, general anaesthesia is conventionally used. Adult patients who prefer to be awake during the surgery will have local anaesthesia instead. The surgeon makes incisions on the back crease of the ear, after which he will remove some skin and cartilage between the ear and where the ear meets the head. Fine dissolvable stitches are used to close the surgical site with internal sutures. More stitches may be used on the upper layer of the scar to secure it in place.

The surgery takes about 1 to 3 hours, depending on the amount of correction required. After that, the wound is dressed in a head bandage, or the patient may have post-surgical ear cups which will stay in place for up to a week.


Any removable stitches are taken out a week after the otoplasty to allow a fuller and quicker recovery. A loose headband may be used to keep the ears from being snagged when the patient rolls around in bed.

The doctor will also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as the patient will likely experience some pain, swelling, and bruising in the weeks following the surgery. Sleeping on the side, contact sports and other strenuous activities should also be avoided for at least six weeks post-surgery. Follow-up visits to the clinic can start a week after the otoplasty to ensure that the wound is healing correctly and there is no sign of infection. The patient can then return to work or school within two weeks.

Regular consultation with our plastic surgery UK specialist is also recommended in the early days before the ear has fully recovered to avert any risks associated with the surgery. Some of the risks include loss of ear sensation after repositioning, severe bleeding, scarring, overcorrection, and ear asymmetry.

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