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Ear Surgery: OTOPLASTY

Otoplasty is the operation that allows to correct problems of the ears, specially protruding ears.

It is a very simple operation in which the surgeon recovers the normal folds of the ears and reduces the cartilages that are too large. With this it is possible to achieve a natural shape of the ears and fold them so they don’t stand out. The results are optimum; the natural aspect is visible in a month from the operation. The scars remain totally hidden in the fold behind the ears.


It will be done with local anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. It last approximately one hour and the patient will be discharged in little time. To control the swelling it is convenient to apply bandaging during some days and then change it for an elastic sport-type strip. In general, there is no pain and the only troubles are due to the bandages during the first days.  The results are seen in a month and they will be final in 6 months.


There exists different technique to perform this operation. They will be chosen depending on individual problems that each patient presents. In every case, the incisions are behind the ear, and from there, the surgeon can work on the cartilages. In most cases, the cartilages are folded with stitches and the excess on the inferior part of the ear is removed. It will be finished by closing the wounds behind the ears and bandaging the head.


The first days can be uncomfortable because of the itchiness and heat that the bandages generate. In 4-5 days it will be removed in the clinic and the head can be cleaned. It is necessary to use a hair ribbon the maximum time possible and specially to sleep, to avoid involuntary tractions with the pillow. At first the ears will be inflamed and swollen, with a strange aspect more or less like when it is very cold (bruised). The inflammation will decrease slowly. The stitches are removed in 10-15 days but the patient can recover normal life in 4-5 days, when the bandages are removed. It will be recommended to avoid very hot temperatures and wearing glasses during the first days.

Results and Complications:

The results are noticeable in a month and in general, they are very good and natural. The possible complications are small hematomas and the chance of a stitch to release before wanted. This could be solved with a small mend in 3 months time.



Will there be pain? In general no, but during the first days the bandages can cause some headache that will easily be controlled.

Are the bandages necessary? Yes, it is very convenient to limit the swelling.

Will the ears be normal? Yes, once the inflammation disappears, but the aspect will be totally normal.

Will I be able to do a pigtail? Yes, the scars are totally hidden and in some months time they will be almost unnoticeable.

If a mending were necessary, will it be like the first operation? No, it will generally be very small, and the post-operatory will be fast and with no pain. Bandages will not be necessary.