A percentage of the population feel that their ears stick out too much. Some people experience distress from prominent ears and feel self-conscious. Let’s take a look at the treatment options, benefits and recovery process of prominent ear correction. 

Prominent ear correction surgery can help resolve prominent or protruding ears. The procedure is a form of aesthetic ear surgery, and it can help tackle several issues, including ear size, shape and position. If you feel self-conscious about the size or shape of your ears, have you considered ear correction surgery? Let’s take a look at what the procedure involves and how it could help you. 

What are Prominent Ears?

Ears that stick out more than 2cm are considered prominent ears. Prominent or protruding ears are usually caused by a lack of cartilage folds in the ear. Most cases of prominent ears start to develop in early childhood. 

What is Prominent Ear Correction Surgery?

Prominent ear correction surgery is also known as otoplasty, or ear reshaping surgery. In general, genes largely dictate the shape and size of your ears. This means that ears can differ massively from one person to another. Like any facial cosmetic treatment, ear correction surgery has the power to increase confidence and make a huge difference in your life. 

The procedure aims to reshape or reduce the ears so that they don’t stick out or protrude abnormally. While reducing the protrusion, the surgery can also create a natural appearance when viewed from the side. All this creates the desired shape, size, and position. 

The surgery itself lasts between 1 to 2 hours. Your surgeon will make an incision in the groove of skin behind the ears, where your ears meet your head. The ear cartilage is then folded back and reshaped or reduced to create a balanced and asymmetrical look. The cartilage is then pinned in place with permanent stitches that are hidden under the skin. Your surgeon will then close the wound with dissolvable stitches and bandage your head. 

You will need up to 1 week off work with full recovery taking about 4-6 weeks. Patients tend to go back to normal activities in 1 week but avoid strenuous activities and exercise until the 6-week mark. Depending on your surgery, your surgeon will develop a recovery schedule based on each patient. You should see the final results in approximately 3 months. 

Prominent ear correction
Otoplasty before and after ear correction surgery to pin back at The Harley Clinic London

Prominent Ear Correction (Otoplasty): Quick Overview

What Can Prominent Ear Correction Surgery Treat?

The primary objective of prominent ear correction surgery is to restore a natural appearance of the ears that’s in balance with your facial features. The procedure can treat a variety of issues, including:

  • Large ear lobes 
  • Ear size 
  • Wrinkles 
  • Reshape ear cartilage 

If you always feel like your ears are getting in the way of wearing your hair how you would like or make you feel self-conscious, prominent ear correction surgery can greatly improve your confidence. The procedure can give your self-esteem a boost and solve many ear-related issues. 

What are the Benefits of Prominent Ear Surgery?

Often, protruding ears are an inherited trait. It can happen in one or both ears. Benefits of prominent ear surgery include: 

  • Boost confidence 
  • Reposition ears flatter against the head 
  • Reduce very large ears
  • Improve the appearance of abnormalities 

What Happens During Your Prominent Ear Correction Consultation?

During your initial consultation with your surgeon, you will discuss your desires and the results you’re looking to achieve. Your surgeon will then explain your options, the procedure itself, risks, and any limitations. He will determine whether you are suitable for the surgery, carry out a medical assessment, and talk through your medical history. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Ear Correction Surgery?

Depending on your surgery and the technique your surgeon uses, you may need a bandage around your head to encourage your ears to heel in their new position. If you do have a dressing, you will need to keep it dry. So, you won’t be able to wash your hair until after the bandage is removed. You will be fully recovered and back to normal by 6 weeks. 

It’s important that you restrict your normal routine for the first 1-2 weeks so that you can recover from the surgery effectively. The majority of swelling should go down in 2-3 weeks. But you will be sore for a few days. It usually takes about 12 weeks before you can participate in full-contact sports. But it’s always essential to speak to your surgeon beforehand for the all-clear. 

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Ear Correction Surgery?

When you seriously start to consider prominent ear correction surgery, naturally you think about who the ideal candidate is for the procedure. Firstly, if you find yourself with any of the following, this surgery may be the right solution for you:

  • Prominent or protruding ears 
  • Damaged ears and ear lobes 
  • Asymmetrical ears
  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem from your ears
  • Poor results from a previous ear surgery 

The ideal candidate is in good health, a non-smoker, and is looking to gain more confidence and restore facial balance. In particular, for ear correction surgery, you can’t have any chronic or ongoing untreated ear infection. Your surgeon will explain everything you need to know during your consultation and prepare you for your treatment, both mentally and physically. 

In general, patients who are bothered by their ears when you put your hair up or just following a haircut in men may benefit from prominent ear correction surgery. 

Are the Results Permanent?

Yes, the results from otoplasty surgery should be permanent. However, in a very small number of cases, a minute readjustment procedure may be required. 

When Will You See the Final Results?

Your results will be visible as soon as you remove the dressings. There will be some bruising for several weeks that will gradually subside. After 3-6 months, you should be able to see the final result.

What Should You Expect After the Procedure?

After your procedure, expect to have bandages around your ears. This is to keep them in their new position. Following your treatment, you should expect:

  • Slight bruising for 2 weeks 
  • Soreness for a couple of days 
  • Some numbness and tingling for several weeks 

What are the Scars Like Following Otoplasty?

Your scars are hidden behind the ears, so you can’t see any scars from the front. 

Is the Procedure Painful?

The procedure is relatively painless. During the surgery, your doctor will use local anaesthetics at the incision site. It’s normal to experience some discomfort during the recovery process, but this can usually be managed with over the counter painkillers. 

When are Your Follow-Up Appointments After Surgery?

You will see your doctor after 7-10 days following your procedure. This is to review the wound and make sure you’re healing as you should be. After this, you will be booked in for a longer-term follow-up appointment to check on your progress. 

What Can’t You Do with Prominent Ear Correction Surgery?

This procedure does not improve hearing at all. Also, it can’t completely change the shape of your ears. 

What are the Risks of Prominent Ear Correction Surgery?

Complications of prominent ear correction surgery are generally rare. However, there are some potential risks and complications of the procedure, such as:

  • Bleeding 
  • Infection 
  • Bruising 
  • Numbness
  • Unsatisfactory appearance 
  • Scarring 
  • General anaesthetic risks 

Prominent or protruding ears don’t resolve on their own. In general, the only way to fix prominent ears is with a surgical procedure. Many of our patients report a big improvement in self-esteem following the surgery. 

To book a consultation today, please call 0203 582 4947 or email [email protected].