Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Large, protruding ears can be remedied with a surgical procedure called otoplasty. It is also referred to as “pinning the ears,” since the procedure pulls the ears closer to the head so they don’t stick out. Otoplasty takes between two and four hours, usually under local or general anesthetic, on an outpatient basis. The otoplasty procedure begins with an incision, and then your surgeon may remove or reshape the cartilage in the ear. Sutures are used to close the incision and often to maintain the ear’s new position. Otoplasty should not affect hearing. Bandages or a headband will need to be worn until the incisions have healed. Children as young as 5 may have this procedure, but surgery should not be imposed on children who haven’t complained about the appearance of their ears. Most children can return to school within two to three weeks, and adults can usually return to work sooner. Treated ears need to be protected for about six weeks.

To determine if you or your child is a good candidate for ear surgery and to learn more about the procedure, click the link below for the Kaiser Permanente Cosmetic Services center nearest you to request a consultation.