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Otoplasty – Description

Otoplasty (ear surgery) is a procedure that takes place in order to change the shape, position and size of the ears. Otoplasty can be done at any age but it is usually performed after the age of 5, however, in certain cases, it can be done as early as the age of 3.

If a child is born with prominent ears, a special splint may correct the problem, if performed immediately after birth.

Otoplasty is typically done on both ears to optimize symmetry.

Otoplasty – Preoperatively Instructions

  • Review of your medical history.
  • Physical exam.
  • Discussion upon your expectations.
  • Stop aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal complements
  • Stop smoking for 3 weeks before and after surgery

Otoplasty – Types of anesthesia

  • Local anesthesia
  • Sedation
  • General anesthesia

During the procedure of Otoplasty

The incisions might be on the back of the patient ears and rarely within the inner creases. The excess cartilage can be removed or just sutured posteriorly. We also ford the cartilage into the proper position and secure it with internal stitches. The procedure typically takes about two hours.

After the procedure of Otoplasty

After the otoplasty, the patient ears will be covered in bandages for protection and support. Pain medications are recommended.

To keep pressure off the ears, the patient must avoid sleeping on the side. Also, he/she try not to rub or place excessive force on the incisions.

A few days after the otoplasty, the bandages are removed. The ears will most likely be swollen and red. The patient will need to wear a loose headband that covers his/her ears at night for two to six weeks.

Otoplasty – Surgery complications

  • Scarring. While scars are permanent, they’ll likely be hidden behind your ears or within the creases of your ears.
  • Asymmetry in-ear placement. This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process. Also, the surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry.
  • Changes in skin sensation. During otoplasty, the repositioning of the ears can temporarily affect skin sensation in the area. Rarely, changes are permanent.
  • Problems with stitches. Stitches are used to secure the ear’s new shape, but they might work their way to the surface of the skin and need to be removed. This can cause inflammation of the affected skin. As a result, you might need additional surgery.
  • Overcorrection. Otoplasty can create unnatural contours that make ears appear to be pinned back.


Like any other type of major surgery, otoplasty poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure.

Otoplasty – Results

After your bandages are removed, the patient will notice an immediate change in the appearance of your ears. These changes are permanent.

Preparation before surgery

  1. Photographs of the area are taken.
  2. Classical preoperative check-up includes blood tests, chest X-ray, and cardiac evaluation.
  3. 12 hours before surgery do not eat anything.
  4. 6 hours before surgery do not drink anything.
  5. On the morning of the operation do not take any medication without the anesthesiologist's approval.
  6. Alcohol should be stopped 1 week before surgery.
  7. In the case of general anesthesia, it is necessary to meet with the anesthesiologist before the surgery.
  8. Report previous anesthetic experiences, either positive or negative and inform him/her of any health problems or medication you are taking.
  9. Do not take aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements 10 days before the surgery, as they increase the possibility of bleeding during and after surgery.
  10. 3 days before the surgery and every day after washing your face or body with medicated soap, depending on the planned surgery.

General Complications after surgery

Complications in plastic surgery operations are not common but it is necessary to be aware of them at the first appointment.

  • Hematoma: A hematoma is the accumulation of blood in the wound.
  • Inflammation: To prevent inflammation, antibiotics are administered during surgery.
  • Poor wound healing: If the incision in the operated site is more prominent than expected, it can be corrected 6 months to a year after surgery with local anesthesia. In some cases, the appearance of keloids is possible where specific treatment is needed.
  • Skin necrosis: It is more likely in heavy smokers.
  • Pulmonary embolism and thrombosis.

This text may give rise to new questions. We are at your disposal for any other information.