All About Otoplasty: Let Me Bend Your Ear


The lyrics of the children’s song “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” are intended to be humorous. They do, however, make an accurate observation; people notice the appearance of each other’s ears. Such unwanted attention may cause someone to become self-conscious about his or her ears. If so, the person might consider contacting board certified plastic surgeons in NC to discuss having surgery.

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty refers to the procedure that is performed with the intention of changing the position, size, or shape of the ears. This type of plastic surgery can be done during adulthood or childhood but not before the ears have grown to their full size; reaching full growth usually occurs after the age of 5. People might be motivated to have this surgery if a birth defect or injury has caused the ears to become misshapen or if they are bothered by the way their ears look in relation to their head. An individual might be dissatisfied with the appearance of just one ear, but in an effort to optimize symmetry, otoplasty will typically be done on both ears.

Are Risks Involved?

As with other types of major surgery, someone undergoing otoplasty may experience bleeding or infection. It’s possible, as well, to have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia or an allergic reaction to the materials, such as the surgical tape, involved in the procedure. Other risks are more specific to otoplasty; these can include overcorrection, permanent scarring, altered skin sensation, inflammation due to the stitches, or asymmetric ear placement. Despite the risks, as far back as the late 19th century, many people have been motivated to undergo otoplasty.

What Are Some Possible Results?

Following the removal of the bandages, someone who has had otoplasty will be able to notice immediate, and permanent, changes in how his or her ears appear. Depending on the type of stitches used, they will either dissolve without further intervention, or they will need to be removed during a follow-up visit. The possibility of revision surgery can be discussed with the surgeon if the person is dissatisfied with the results.