Few surgical procedures restore self-confidence as dramatically as does surgery for prominent ears in a younger patient. Ears that are especially large or protruding can have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem. Ear sculpting (or otoplasty) can change the size and shape of ears for people of all ages – making overly large ears smaller or placing protruding ears closer to the head – but this reconstructive surgery is most commonly performed on children between the ages of 8 and 20.
An otoplasty begins with inconspicuous incisions made behind and on the ears. Excess cartilage is either removed or reshaped, and the remaining cartilage is sutured into place. Ear surgery takes about two hours to complete. This outpatient procedure can be performed under either general anesthesia or sedation. Most normal activities can be resumed within about 10 to 14 days, and strenuous activities within about one to two months. This procedure may qualify for reimbursement by some medical insurance companies.