Otoplasty & Ear Reshaping FAQs


    The procedure is the same as if done when a child except it will be done under a light anaesthetic and sedation. Because an adult’s ears are stiffer than a child’s there may be more initial post-operative pain related to the increased tension on the internal stitches. But the result is the same—a flatter ear and a more attractive overall facial appearance. Some women have an otoplasty at 40 to 50 during their first facelift.

    Before and After Ear Reshaping Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Bat ears or very protuberant ears usually cause parents concern when the child is attending pre-school or kindergarten. Unkind comments from other children may prompt parents to seek advice from a plastic surgeon. At least 80 per cent of the ears’ growth is complete by the age of six so the operation can be done any time after this.

    The ears protrude because of their shape and their projection from the side of the head. Both issues must be dealt with individually in each patient. The procedure to “pin” the ears back is carried out under a general anaesthetic. During the teenage years the procedure can be done under sedation and local anaesthesia only.


    Before and After Otoplasty, Ear Reshaping Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Small incisions are made behind the ear in the natural crease, so they are not obvious. Excess skin is then removed with the cartilage sculpted in such a way that the size of the ears is reduced while creating a new positioning closer to the head. Sutures are then placed in the cartilage which keeps them secure in their new position, creating an ear fold that looks very natural.

    This process takes around one to one and a half hours with the use of a general anaesthetic.

    You will be required to have a padded bandage around your head for roughly one week, which will help keep your ears in their new position while also protecting them while they heal. Following this time it is advised that a headband or stocking cap be worn whenever possible, but particularly at night for a further week after surgery.


    Before and 3 months after Otoplasty

    While Otoplasty is not considered to be a painful operation, you may experience some numbness following the procedure. After about one week you should be able to return to work (or school) and may experience some bruising or swelling which will begin to settle down after the first week or two. Along with the cosmetic benefits of Otoplasty, we see many patients who have a boost in confidence thanks to their new and improved look.

    In regards to medical treatment alternatives, there are none that will achieve the results of Otoplasty, as it is the only procedure that can reposition or reshape the ears. As this procedure works to correct a visual aesthetic preference, many patients undergo it to boost their confidence in their appearance. Talking to a counsellor or psychologist may help to overcome you or your child’s concerns in regards to looks to avoid the procedure.