Correction of prominent ears (otoplasty) is indicated to make the ears less prominent and improve the definition of their inner contours.

The prominent ear is the most frequent malformation of the auricle. It is characterized by anterior rotation of the ear (distance of the ear in relation to the skull), usually associated with the erasure of folds or internal protrusions. It can be hereditary and present different degrees of involvement. These changes make the ears more evident and appear larger than they really are. This can bother adults and, especially, children and young people, in addition to generating anxiety and concern in parents. The purpose of protruding ears correction (otoplasty) is to decrease the projection of the ears in relation to the skull (turning the ears backwards) and improve the definition of their internal reliefs (creation of folds and internal protrusions).

Surgical technique

  • Marking the incisions in the posterior regions of the ears.
  • Antisepsis + anesthesia.
  • Incision in the posterior region of the ear + resection of a small skin spindle.
  • Tissue detachment to well expose the auricular cartilage and the bony region behind the ear (mastoid).
  • Review of bleeding areas.
  • Marking the limits for the creation of the cartilaginous bulge (anti-helix).
  • Incision or scraping of the cartilage in the area where it will be folded (to weaken it) + sutures to create the anti-helix fold.
  • Sutures bringing the concha of the ear closer to the skull.
  • Closure of the incision behind the ear.
  • Repetition of the same steps in the other ear, trying to obtain the greatest possible symmetry.
  • Dressing maintaining the repositioning of the ears.

Postoperative Guidelines

The bandage covering the head and both ears will only be removed after 24 hours. After its removal, the use of a ballerina tape (women) or tennis headband (men) will be recommended, keeping the ears close to the skull for about 30 days (15 days full time and 15 days only at night). After the 1st postoperative day, there will be no need for rest, but great care must be taken when lying down so as not to bend the ears. Purples and bumps may appear, but they will soon disappear. Pain and discomfort are temporary and will subside easily with prescribed medication. Hair and ears should be washed carefully at first.

Guidelines on otoplasty

  • The bandage covering the head and both ears will only be removed after 24 hours. Pain and discomfort are temporary and will subside easily with prescribed medication.
  • Avoid driving in the first 5 days after surgery.
  • After discharge, it will be important to rest in bed or in a reclining chair. When lying down, keep the headboard elevated 30º for 5 days. Avoid tucking your ears against the pillow.
  • After removing the bandage, you can take your full body bath, washing the operated areas, without rubbing them, using the prescribed soap. Hair and ears should be washed very carefully at first. Carefully wash operative wounds (areas with stitches). Complete the bath with normal soap.
  • Always have a separate clean face towel to dry the operated area and a regular towel to dry the rest of the body. In the operated area, press lightly when drying and do not rub.
  •  The dressing will be exchanged for ballerina tape for women and tennis headband for men. This will be recommended for a period of 30 days, keeping the ears close to the skull (15 days full time and 15 days night only). Men can wear a cap if they want to hide the forehead.
  • After the 1st postoperative day, there will be no need for bed rest. Return to your normal activities, respecting the aforementioned limits.
  • It will be possible for the appearance of bruises (ecchymosis) and swelling (edema) in the operated areas, which will disappear over time.
  • Sun exposure should be avoided for the first 30 days after surgery. The use of sunscreen is advisable.
  • More intense physical activities should only be resumed 3 months after surgery (examples: swimming, running, weight training, ball sports).
  • You must return to the doctor’s office regularly, as requested, for the removal of the stitches and evaluation of the evolution of the surgery.
  • After removing the stitches, start massaging the scars with the prescribed oil. In some cases, special care for the scars will be necessary.
  • The outcome of your surgery will depend a lot on following these guidelines correctly. Any questions, contact your doctor.


What is the indication for protruding ears correction surgery?

Protruding ears correction surgery is indicated in children and adults who have protruding ears to make the ears less prominent and more harmonious in relation to the facial contour, in addition to improving the definition of their internal contours.

What is the recommended age?

The ideal time to perform otoplasty is from 6 to 7 years old, at which age the ears stop developing. At this stage, psychological damage can be stopped early. The success of otoplasty results is the same in adult patients.

What type of anesthesia is used in protruding ears correction surgery?

Local anesthesia associated with sedation is the most used, but the surgery can also be performed under general anesthesia.

How long is the surgery?

The protruding ear correction surgery lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours.

What is the length of stay?

The hospital stay is 8 to 12 hours. Usually, the patient is released on the same day.

When will stitches be withdrawn?

Stitches will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery.

Does protruding ears correction surgery have risks?

Postoperative complications are rare. Among them we can mention: hematoma, infection, scar alterations, etc.

How long does it take to get the expected result?

The scars are hidden in the grooves behind the ears and most of the time they have great aesthetic quality. Although the result can already be noticed in the recent postoperative period, only after 3 to 6 months will we have a definitive result.