Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Having bold features can make you stand out in a crowd, but large or prominent ears can draw attention for the wrong reasons. If you’re bothered by the appearance of your ears, otoplasty at PURE Plastic Surgery is a surgical procedure that can reshape or reduce the size of your ears to bring balance to your facial profile. This procedure can also repair torn or damaged ear lobes caused by heavy jewelry, intentional stretching of piercing holes or traumatic injuries. 

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the appearance of protruding, large or misshapen ears. The primary goal of otoplasty is to restore a natural, aesthetically pleasing look that aligns with your other facial features, making it ideal for individuals who feel self-conscious about their ears. Otoplasty can correct defects present from birth, mend damage due to injury or simply enhance the overall appearance of the ears. Common reasons for undergoing otoplasty include:

  • Correcting the appearance of protruding ears
  • Reshaping congenital irregularities, such as Stahl’s ear or cryptotia
  • Treating oversized or disproportionate ears
  • Repairing damaged or deformed ears resulting from trauma (e.g., cauliflower ear)
  • Enhancing overall facial symmetry and balance

Otoplasty is a unique cosmetic surgery because it is often performed on both children and adults. Many parents opt to have their children undergo otoplasty after the age of 5 but before they begin school. At PURE, as an office-based facility, we perform ear surgery on adults and children 13 or older. If you’re bothered by your ears, otoplasty can provide both aesthetic and psychological improvements by transforming your appearance and boosting your self-esteem.

Ideal Candidates for Ear Surgery

Otoplasty

Otoplasty is suitable for children and adults who are bothered by the appearance of their ears. This procedure can correct large or prominent ears by refining their position, shape or size. One of the most common otoplasty surgeries, ear pinning, involves bringing protruding ears closer to the head. Other concerns that otoplasty can address include the following: 

  • Congenital ear defects
  • Oversized or protruding ears
  • Stahl’s ear (pointed ears)
  • Constricted ears
  • Cauliflower ear
  • Other ear abnormalities

During a consultation, our skilled surgeons will evaluate you or your child’s concerns to determine if otoplasty is appropriate. It’s important to note that while otoplasty changes the appearance of the ears, it does not resolve internal ear issues, such as hearing impairment. 

Torn Earlobe Repair

The earlobes can become torn or damaged for a number of reasons. Common culprits include injury, gauged piercings or heavy jewelry, which can result in full or partial tears. Torn earlobe repair is a surgical procedure that is appropriate for most patients who wish to restore the appearance of damaged earlobes. It is ideal for correcting the following concerns:

  • Split earlobes
  • Full or partial tears
  • Elongated or stretched piercing holes
  • Misshapen earlobes
  • Asymmetrical appearance
  • Build-up of scar tissue
  • Sagging earlobes

Suitable candidates should be in good health and have realistic expectations for the outcome of surgery. They should also not be prone to keloid scarring, as surgery can cause more raised scars to appear in treated areas, negatively affecting the outcome of the procedure.

What to Expect During Surgery

Otoplasty

Otoplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the patient’s age and preferences. Children who undergo otoplasty are typically given general anesthesia, while local anesthesia with sedation is more common for adults. The procedure usually takes an hour or two to complete, but more time might be required to correct significant abnormalities.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make small, strategically placed incisions behind the ears or within the inner creases, minimizing visible scarring. Through these incisions, your surgeon can reshape the ear cartilage, either by removing excess cartilage or folding and stitching it into a more natural position. This technique corrects the protrusion and improves the overall shape of the ears.

Once the desired shape is achieved, the incisions are closed with sutures, and the ears are carefully bandaged to support the new positioning during the initial healing phase. Patients typically return home the same day with specific aftercare instructions for optimal recovery.

Torn Earlobe Repair

Torn earlobe repair is a relatively quick and straightforward procedure, generally completed within 30 to 60 minutes. Patients return home the same day. It is typically performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the ear area, allowing you to remain awake and comfortable.

The specific technique used for the repair depends on the extent of the tear or damage. For a simple split or partial tear, the surgeon will freshen the edges of the tear and then suture them back together. For more complex or elongated tears, especially those stretched by gauges, a small amount of skin may be removed, and the lobe reshaped before closing it with stitches.

After the repair, very fine sutures are used to minimize scarring, and these are typically removed within one to two weeks. Your surgeon and care team at PURE will provide you with detailed post-op instructions to promote healing and prevent re-injury to the ears. Patients can usually resume light daily activities soon after their procedure, with a quick return to their normal routine.

Ear Surgery Recovery & Results

As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions for optimal results. You can expect temporary swelling and discomfort in the ears following surgery, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication and cold compresses. We recommend that patients wear a protective headband or dressing to support the new ear position during the recovery period, especially at night. 

Most patients can return to work or school soon after their procedure, but activities that may risk trauma to the ears — including sports, rough play or strenuous exercise — should be avoided for several weeks. We will advise you on when it is safe to resume your normal routine.

While immediate improvements are visible once the bandages and sutures are removed, the final results might take up to several months to appear as the ears fully heal and settle into their new shape. The changes made during an otoplasty or torn earlobe repair are permanent, so patients can enjoy a lifelong enhancement of their facial aesthetics after undergoing surgery. “Ear surgery isn’t talked about a lot in plastics, but changing the size or shape of the ears can have a significant impact on your overall appearance by improving facial harmony and balance.” – Dr. Vidal

Learn More About Ear Surgery at PURE

If your earlobes have been damaged or you’re self-conscious about the size or shape of your ears, the skilled surgeons at PURE Plastic Surgery can help. We can restore a natural, proportionate appearance with otoplasty or torn earlobe repair, providing a dramatic improvement to your facial profile without extensive downtime. Learn more about cosmetic ear surgeries by calling our Miami office at 786-245-7622 or completing our online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ear pinning?

Ear pinning is a specific kind of otoplasty that brings the ears closer to the head, often performed on individuals whose ears stick out prominently. Other types of otoplasty include ear augmentation, which increases the size of the ears, and ear reduction, which reduces their overall size. 

What age is appropriate for otoplasty?

Otoplasty is generally safe for children and adults alike. The ideal age for children is typically five years or older, as by this age, the ears have reached their full size, allowing for permanent corrective surgery. At PURE, we perform otoplasty on children aged 13 and older. 

Can otoplasty affect my hearing?

No, otoplasty does not affect your hearing. The surgery only involves the outer ear and does not extend to the middle or inner ear structures where hearing is processed.

Will I be able to pierce my ears again after surgery?

Yes, you can re-pierce your ears after they have fully healed from a torn earlobe repair, which is usually about six months. However, at PURE Plastic Surgery, we recommend that patients opt for lighter jewelry to minimize the risk of re-injury. Avoid heavy or large earrings to maintain the integrity of the earlobe and enjoy long-lasting results.

REAL PATIENTS
REAL STORIES

READ MORE

“I could not have picked a better doctor. Dr. Earle is a perfectionist and settles for nothing less than perfection. I am incredibly happy with my results.”* - Rosie

“Absolutely amazing! The entire journey has been great. The staff and customer care are exceptional! Best service I have ever received.”* - Destiny

“From start to finish they were nothing short of amazing! Amazing doctor and team! Great results and wouldn't trust another. I felt absolutely comfortable from the minute I met them and knew I was in good hands”* - Natasha