Ear surgery (also known as ear lobe surgery or cosmetic surgery for ears) is a procedure that corrects abnormalities of the ears including: protruding ears, abnormally large lobes, lop ears (tips fold down), and shell ear (a condition in which many of the curves and contours are missing).
The imperfections are often cartilage-related, so in many otoplasty procedures, the surgeon will make a minor cut to the back in order to reach the cartilage of the ear.
Because irregularly shaped ears will often result in ridicule, the majority of otoplasty candidates are generally children. Younger ear surgery patients usually receive general anesthesia to keep them from moving during the procedure. Adults are more likely to receive local anesthesia.
Normally, ear surgery lasts from two to three hours and is typically an outpatient procedure for adults. Otoplasty patients younger than 16 years of age are more likely to remain overnight for observation. The recovery period is approximately one week after the surgery, during which patients should stay home from school or work.
Ear surgery patients may remain bandaged for three or more days during the week-long recovery. After a follow-up appointment, patients typically wear a headband-like dressing for approximately three more weeks.