Surgery for Protruding Ears


Otoplasty is the name of the procedure designed to reposition or “pin back” protruding ears. This deformity often causes deeper emotional upset than is generally realized by the patient’s friends or parents. Because the visual and psychological improvement following the operation is usually dramatic, it is rewarding to the patient, the family, and to the surgeon. In children the surgery is preferably done before they begin school.

The otoplasty procedure is designed to “complete” the developmental process by positioning the ears closer to the head and attempting to create the folds by placing sutures in the ear cartilages so that they can “heal” in their desired position.

In many cases, protruding ears lack the natural contours or folds. Frequently one ear may be larger, higher, lower or more projected than the other. Although it is impossible to obtain absolute symmetry with surgery, the postoperative photograph on the right demonstrates a reasonable degree of improvement.

Even though irregularities of the ear margin frequently exist with projecting ears, they can be made less apparent when the ears are re-positioned closer to the head.