Otoplasty (Ear Reshaping)

Otoplasty (ear reshaping) is designed to correct protruding or disfigured ears in children and adults. Shape, position or proportion of the ear may be corrected. The goal is to create a natural shape, improving balance and proportion to the ears and face.

Numerous surgical procedures are used to correct ear protrusion. The selection of procedures is based on the surgeon’s clinical experience and the underlying cause of the protrusion. Some patients benefit from placing simple sutures in the ear cartilage to reposition the ears closer to the skull, while other patients need cartilage removal. Often these procedures are performed in combination.

With children, it is suggested to perform otoplasty before the child begins school to avoid peer teasing and ridicule which may adversely affect a child’s self-image.

Who is a candidate?

  • Healthy children age 5 or older with prominent or disfigured ears
  • Healthy children age 5 or older with ear cartilage stable enough for correction
  • Healthy children age 5 or older without untreated chronic ear infections
  • Healthy children age 5 or older who are able to cooperate and follow instructions
  • Healthy children age 5 or older who are able to communicate their feelings and do not object when surgery is discussed
  • Healthy teenagers and adults with a positive outlook and who have specific goals in mind for ear surgery

Intended Results

  • Place the protruding ears in a normal relationship to the head and face
  • Restore normal anatomy of the ears to a more natural appearance

Procedure Description

  • The procedure may be performed in an accredited office surgery centre, or in the hospital as an outpatient
  • Local anaesthesia, conscious sedation, or general anaesthesia may be used
  • A hidden incision is usually made behind the ear
  • Specialised sutures are used to “pin” the ears back to a more normal position and restore normal ear anatomy
  • An additional procedure may also be performed to remove a small piece of the excessive cartilage to create a more natural and longer lasting result
  • A head bandage is usually worn for 1-3 days
  • When the bandage is removed, the surgeon may ask the patient to wear a headband for several weeks to assist in keeping the ears in the correct position

Recuperation and Healing

  • The recovery period averages 7-10 days
  • Patients with long hair can immediately cover the ears and return to work, or play, earlier
  • Activity is reduced for the first 2 weeks
  • Contact sports and helmet use are discouraged for 6-8 weeks

Other Options

  • Ear molding and taping the ears of infants may be effective. If done, this is only effective during the first months following childbirth and must be undertaken under the direction of your paediatrician and surgeon

Approximate Costs

Price variations can alter widely between patients and what surgery is actually required, so only a broad guide can be offered. Please contact our office for more specific details at this link

$4,000 – $6,000


The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be fully determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications which do not affect the overall cosmetic results occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.