The operation designed to “pin back” or reposition protruding ears closer to the head is known as otoplasty.


Deformities of the ears can be more emotionally traumatic to an affected individual than others realize. Parents, and even friends, do not realize the degree of emotional damage that misshapen or protruding ears cause a patient. Males are especially vulnerable to comments about their ears as they grow and mature, due to the nature of their hairstyle. However, females can be the ones most bothered by protruding ears as they become more mature and desire a more mature hairstyle. Because of the obvious visual, as well as psychological improvement following the operation, this procedure provides a rewarding experience for the patient.

In children, the ear is 90% of its normal size by five or six years of age. I recommend that the procedure be completed before or near the time a child enters school to avoid years of teasing and ridicule by classmates. A general anesthetic is administered when completing the procedure on a child.

However, otoplasty can be completed at any age. In fact, the more satisfied patients are those who have endured protruding ears for most of their life and finally correct the problem after years of “hiding them”. Adults who undergo surgery will use the “twilight” anesthesia process.

After Surgery

The night following surgery, a turban-like dressing is worn on the head to protect the ears, and then removed the following day. Patients are able to return to school, work, and social activities in two to three days wearing some type of headband over their ears, and will continue to do so for approximately two weeks. The thin scars resulting from incisions are automatically hidden by the ear and covered by the patient’s hair. It is very rare for the scars to become thickened and bothersome.

The results of this otoplasty procedure are dramatic and long lasting. Many patients remark this procedure has given them a new outlook on life.


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