There are many reasons why ears may be misshapen. Some ear defects are congenital and present at birth, while others become apparent as we age, or are due to ear trauma or disease. Ear surgery, or otoplasty, can correct these defects and improve self-confidence.
Our highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We invite you to book a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options.
Ear surgery can correct:
Large ears, or macrotia
Pointed ears, or Stahl’s ear
Underdeveloped ears, or microtia
Constricted or cupped ears
Asymmetrical ears or earlobes
Ear surgery is an individualized procedure that can correct genetic deformities, ear injuries, or cosmetic concerns.
What to Expect
Before your ear surgery, we’ll talk to you about your surgical goals and medical history, and review your anatomy. We’ll take measurements and photographs and will make a treatment recommendation. During this consultation, we’ll also answer your questions, walk you through the otoplasty procedural steps, discuss potential risks and complications, and talk about recovery and aftercare.
Our goal is to achieve symmetry, facial balancing, and an aesthetically pleasing ear shape and position. As highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons, we are experts at handling delicate facial skin, fascia, fat, and muscular tissues to achieve noticeable yet natural-looking results.
Based on our procedural approach, you may be put under general anesthesia or IV sedation by an anesthesiologist, or receive a local anesthetic. We’ll make a small, discreet incision on the back of your ear or within the inner creases of the ear. Through these small incisions, we will remove excess tissue and cartilage and secure the ear shape with internal stitches. Finally, we’ll close the incisions. Reconstructive or congenital defect repair otoplasty cases may require different procedural approaches.
The entire procedure takes about one to two hours and you can go home after the procedure. If you’re receiving non-local sedation, please make sure you have a ride home, as you won’t be able to operate a vehicle. We perform ear surgery as an outpatient procedure at our accredited Northern Arizona SurgiCenter in Flagstaff.
Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.
Ear Surgery Recovery and Aftercare
To optimize healing, we ask our patients to follow these recovery guidelines after their procedure. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.
Incision Aftercare: Following surgery, we’ll wrap your ears in bandages to protect the incisions. Please be gentle with the ears and avoid touching them. We’ll remove the bandages in a few days, and we may provide you with a protective garment to wear over your ears at night while you sleep for the first week following surgery. If we use dissolvable stitches, they won’t need to be removed. We’ll take removable stitches out one week after surgery.
Medications: We may prescribe pain medications and an antibiotic ointment to apply to the incisions. Over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, can help relieve mild pain.
Glasses and Jewelry: Please don’t wear glasses or earrings for three weeks following your otoplasty procedure.
Water Exposure: You can shower 48 hours after surgery. Please avoid using hot water and try to keep your incision area dry and clean. Don’t submerge your head in the water while swimming or bathing for four weeks to reduce infection risk.
Exercise: Light exercise, such as walking, can be done as soon as you feel ready. Avoid high-impact activities for two to four weeks, based on how you’re feeling and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Sleeping:Rest with your head elevated for at least the first week following your procedure, and try to sleep on your back to avoid applying pressure directly to your ears.
Every plastic surgery practice offers different pricing. The national average procedural fee for a cosmetic otoplasty procedure is around $3,700, plus the cost of anesthesia, surgical facility costs, and medications. Some otoplasty cases performed in children to correct congenital defects are covered by insurance. However, many ear surgeries are considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance. Please set up a consultation with one of our surgeons to learn more about the procedure and to receive a personalized quote. We also offer six- and 12-month interest-free financing options through Care Credit.
We generally perform otoplasties on teenage and adult patients who are healthy, nonsmokers, and who don’t have any medical conditions that may impede wound healing. Children who are over the age of 5, able to communicate, and can follow instructions are good candidates for ear surgery to resolve congenital defects.
When you meet with one of our surgeons for your ear surgery consultation, we will discuss your goals and anatomy to determine which cosmetic procedures would be best suited to meet your unique needs.
Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed hundreds of ear surgeries and maxillofacial procedures. We would love to bring you in for a consultation to discuss your desired outcomes and treatment options. Fill out this form to receive a call-back shortly, or give us a call at 928-774-2300.