Otoplasty is designed to move protruding ears closer to the head, or to reduce the size of large ears. The surgeon typically makes an incision in the back of the ear and then reshapes the cartilage, bending it towards the head. The new shape is maintained by internal sutures. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, but patients will be well enough to go home that same day. Stitches are usually removed or dissolved in about one week. Full recovery takes about one to two weeks. However, the final outcome of the procedure may not be fully apparent until a few months afterwards.
Otoplasty is suitable for children as young as four. It is typically performed on children between the ages of four and fourteen, though it may also be performed on adults. There are no general additional risks associated with performing the procedure on adults.