What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is the surgery that corrects the abnormal shape of the ears. The most common deformity is the protruding ear, and is due to the lack or poor definition of the natural folds of the ear cartilage or the increased projection of any of these folds, giving an unaesthetic appearance in both women and men.

Other times the ears present a more complex degree of malformation, with abnormal extra folds, they look very closed or constricted, or they are asymmetrical (one excessively large or small).

Otoplasty recreates a more natural shape, making the ears unnoticeable, while bringing balance and proportion to the face and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have profound benefits for appearance and self-esteem.

The objective of a cosmetic ear surgery or otoplasty operation is not to achieve exact measurements, but to find appropriate final shapes and proportions that give a natural and normal appearance to the patient. Sometimes it is necessary to use different tools or procedures for this purpose. Each case is different and must be planned individually and applying the different tools available to obtain an excellent result.

Candidates for treatment

Otoplasty is a surgical technique that permanently improves the appearance of the ears in people with prominent ears or other deformities. Candidates are children, adolescents or adults, always with good results.

Generally in children, it is recommended from the age of 3 years when the cartilage has matured and before schooling. Looped ears can cause a complex and serious relationship disorder (especially bullying situations) that is a bigger problem than the surgery itself, which is not at all traumatic for patients. On other occasions it is recommended to wait until 5-6 years of age, when the little ones already have a conception of the characteristics of their own body, and it is the child himself who asks for it, because he does not like the appearance of his ears.

Adult patients who undergo this procedure are usually people who tell us that they have been self-conscious all their lives, hiding their ears in a variety of ways (long hair, turbans, hats, etc).

What can otoplasty treat?

Most otoplasty cases are simple and consist of shaping the crease of the ear (antehelix) and bringing the pinnae closer to the mastoid area so that they are in a natural position.

– Oversized ears: a condition called macrotia.

– Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides to varying degrees, not associated with hearing loss; so-called “floppy” or “protruding” ears.

– Ears with abnormal extra folds, appear too closed or constricted, or are asymmetrical (excessively large or small). Other congenital deformities.

– Dissatisfaction of adults with previous surgeries.

Otoplasty procedure

– Anesthesia. Possible options include sedation +. local anesthesia or general anesthesia. It will be decided according to the characteristics of each patient.

– Procedure. Incisions for otoplasty are usually made on the posterior surface of the pinna, in the so-called retroauricular fold. In this way, the incision is practically invisible (it is hidden inside the fold). When incisions on the front of the ear are necessary, folds are also used to hide them.

– Scar. The scar is located in the retroauricular fold, totally camouflaged. Care is taken not to distort other structures and to avoid an unnatural “immobilized” appearance.

– Results. Ear surgery offers immediate results in cases of prominent ears, visible once dressings are removed during the initial stages of healing. However, for the first 2-3 weeks the pinnae will be somewhat swollen and edematous (with fluid accumulation). The stitches are removed in 1 week and it is advisable to wear a pressotherapy garment (turban type) for 2 weeks, to promote healing in the proper position, as well as to allow the inflammation to be reabsorbed sooner.


– What are the risks of otoplasty?

Possible risks of ear surgery include:

– Bleeding (hematoma).

– Asymmetry.

– Surgical wound infection.

– Poor wound healing.

– Change in skin sensation (loss of sensitivity…).

– Pain.

However, the frequency of these complications is less than 2%, and there is always a treatment that can solve it (drain a hematoma, retouch the surgery to achieve total symmetry, improve scars, treat with antibiotics…).

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