Corrective surgery for ears that protrude can occur at any time, but is easiest when the patient is between five and six years old. Surgery at an early age has several benefits: the cartilage is more pliable making it easier to reshape, and the child avoids unnecessary teasing that may occur due to the deformity. The procedure called otoplasty, does not alter the patient’s hearing, but improves appearance and self-confidence.

Otoplasty should be considered on ears that protrude from the back of the head, usually due to a lack of one of the bends in the ear, and excess cartilage that separates the back of the ear from the head. The surgery begins with an incision behind the ear, where the ear joins the head. The surgeon may remove skin and cartilage or trim and reshape the cartilage. Not only is it possible to “pin back” ears, but ears can also be reshaped, reduced in size, or made more symmetrical. A successful otoplasty is that the ears be in proportion to the size and shape of the face and head. In addition to pinning back the protrusion, ears may also be reshaped, reduced in size, or made more symmetrical. Typically, surgery takes about two hours with soft dressings placed over the ears for a week as protection.

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