Otoplasty

  • Standard Recovery Time:
    6-8 Weeks
  • Average Cost:
    $3,200-$8,000
  • Anesthesia Required:
    Yes

About Otoplasty

Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the ears. During otoplasty, a plastic surgeon may alter the size, position, or shape of your ears. Many people opt for otoplasty surgery to alter the shape, size, or position of their ears. Another typical cause for this treatment is that some people’s ears stick out or protrude too far from their heads, impacting their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Commonly asked questions about Otoplasty

1. What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the ears. During otoplasty, a plastic surgeon may alter the size, position, or shape of your ears. Many people opt for otoplasty surgery to alter the shape, size, or position of their ears. Another typical cause for this treatment is that some people’s ears stick out or protrude too far from their heads, impacting their self-confidence and self-esteem.

2. Why is otoplasty done?

Many people undergo an otoplasty if:

  • Your ear or ears protrude excessively from your head.
  • Your ears are disproportionately large in comparison to your head
  • You are not satisfied with the results of a previous ear surgery

3. Am I a good candidate for otoplasty?

You may be a good candidate for otoplasty if:

  • Your ears do not feel comfortable on your head
  • Your earlobes are wide or oddly shaped
  • Your ears are asymmetrical
  • Your ears are excessively large, drawing attention away from your face
  • Your ears protrude too far from your head
  • You are over the age of 5 (this is when ears are 90% of their adult size)
  • You are in overall good health
  • You do not smoke

4. How is otoplasty performed?

Step One – Anesthesia 

You will be administered one of the following for your otoplasty surgery:

  • Intravenous sedation
  • General Anesthesia

Step Two – The Incision

Cartilage Reshaping: Following anesthesia, the surgeon will make an incision behind the ear, exposing the ear cartilage so it can be reshaped. The incision will be placed in a discreet area and keep any scaring hidden.

Reshaping the cartilage must be done in a precise and delicate manner to enhance the proportion and symmetry of the ears. If the ears are oversized, cartilage and excess skin will be removed.

Ear Repositioning: After the cartilage has been reshaped, the surgeon will move the ears closer to the sides of the head if they are protruding too far from the head. Cartilage sparing and scoring techniques and skin removal from the back of the ear will be typically involved in this step.

Step Three – Closing the Incisions

Once the surgeon is happy with the reshaping and/or repositioning the ears, the incision will be closed using stitches. To avoid an unnatural pinned back appearance, the technique used to close incisions are individual to each surgeon.

Step Four – See the Results 

After your surgery is complete, the results can be seen immediately, but it will take up to 8 weeks for the ears to fully set and heal. In the case of protruding ears, the results will be visible once the supportive dressings are removed. Scarring is minimal as the ear is permanently positioned closer to the head or hidden in the natural creases of the ear.

5. How long does an otoplasty take to complete?

An otoplasty procedure usually takes about 2 hours to complete depending on the complexity of your procedure.

6. What is recovery like after surgery?

Immediately after surgery: Your ears will be wrapped in heavily-padded cotton bandages. After a few days, these can be removed and swapped with a lighter dressing. A headband/bandage that covers the ears must be worn during the entire otoplasty recovery to protect against infection and to protect the ears from damage while sleeping.

Week One: You will experience some pain and swelling in and around your ears. After a few days, you may be able to resume normal activities – adults can return to work after 3-4 days, and children can return to school after one week.

Week Two: Pain and swelling will have reduced, but bandages must still be worn as much as possible to hold the shape of your newly reshaped ears.

Week Three and Four: Most of the swelling will have subsided, but you may not see the full results for up to 6 weeks after surgery.

7. How long do the results last?

Results from an otoplasty surgery are permanent, and you will not need further surgery unless you are dissatisfied with the results.

8. How much does an otoplasty cost in Canada?

The cost of an otoplasty surgery in Canada varies depending on the procedure’s scope and what province the procedure is performed. A consultation with your surgeon will be able to give you an exact price for your procedure. In Canada, an otoplasty surgery costs between $3,200-$8,000.

9. What are the risks of otoplasty surgery?

An otoplasty procedure carries the same risks as any other major surgery; although rare, here are a few additional risks to consider:

  • Scarring
  • Overcorrection
  • Allergic reaction to sutures, glue, surgical tape, etc.
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing

10. Is otoplasty worth it?

249/260 people who have undergone an otoplasty have rated the procedure “Worth It” (96%)

– Source: realself.com