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Ear surgery is performed in children and adults to correct defects in the structure of the ears that are present at birth or become obvious with development, or to correct ears that are misshapen due to injury. Technically known as otoplasty, this procedure creates a more natural shape of the ears and improves balance and proportion of the ears to overall facial structure.

What is ear surgery?

Otoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the position, proportions, and shape of the ears. It can correct birth defects of the ear structure or abnormalities caused by injury. When ear surgery is performed to correct protruding ears, results are visible immediately after the supportive dressings worn during the initial phase of healing are removed.

Why choose Dr. Darren Smith?

  • Dr. Smith’s training is what sets him apart. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon and one of the few surgeons who have completed both an aesthetic surgery fellowship and a craniofacial surgery fellowship.
  • He is a conservative surgeon who will not jump into surgery but takes all the time he needs to assess the correct approach and build a real relationship with the patient.
  • Dr. Smith’s practice provides the highest level of service, including a friendly, comfortable environment, advanced patient safety protocols, exceptional results, and personalized aftercare.

What should I expect with ear surgery?

This procedure may be performed under local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. Dr. Smith will recommend the best choice for you. Surgical techniques are employed

  • Increase or create the antihelical fold just inside the rim of the ear; and
  • Reduce enlarged conchal cartilage – the largest, deepest concavity of the outer ear

Any incisions needed on the front of the ear are hidden within the natural folds. Ear surgery uses internal, nonremovable sutures to help create and secure newly shaped cartilage. Sutures are used to carefully close the incisions for a natural look that is not “pinned back.”

What is recovery like after ear surgery?

  • After the procedure, dressings or bandages will be applied to support the new position of the ears during the initial healing phase, protect from trauma, and keep the surgical site clean. These bandages will remain in place for approximately one week, after which the bandages and your sutures will be removed.
  • Rest with your head elevated on two to three pillows to help minimize swelling.
  • You will be able to return home the same day, after you have recovered from the anesthetic. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night after surgery.
  • Medications will be prescribed to control pain and help prevent infection.
  • You will be asked to wear an elastic band at night for approximately six weeks after your sutures are removed.

Ear Surgery FAQ

How popular is ear surgery?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 22,884 otoplasty procedures were performed in the U.S. in a recent year. These procedures are performed on both children and adults who want to correct an ear structure flaw.

Why fix prominent ears?

The ears are just as important to the aesthetics of the face as the eyes, nose, or mouth. The entire shape of the face is dramatically affected by the position of the ears on the head. Prominent ears draw attention away from the face. The shape of the ears plays a significant role in how attractive a person appears.

What is the best age for otoplasty in children?

Six to seven years of age is generally an ideal time for children to undergo ear surgery to correct prominent ears. At this age, the ear cartilage is stable enough for correction. This is also the approximate age when teasing from other children may begin.


  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD

All photos are of models except before and after images.

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