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Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) FAQ

When should someone have ear surgery?

The ear is almost totally formed and sized by the time someone is 4-5 years old. The ear surgery procedure is performed at almost every age after that time. If the child is being teased by other child enough that it bothers them at an early age, it is totally appropriate and quite common. Another commonly performed time is in the early teenage years as young adults are finding themselves and body image issues become increasingly important. The last time period is in adult years, when people will say I always wanted to get this done.

What can I expect after my ear surgery?

The scars are placed behind the ear so as not to show. The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in the very young, and sedation later in life. Sutures are typically placed to give the ear the proper shape and position. After ear surgery, the head is wrapped for a few days, with very little discomfort, and then after that all bandages are removed. All sutures are internal. The ear will have some mild bruising and swelling which usually resolves quickly. A sports headband is recommended to wear while sleeping for a few weeks to prevent the ear from being bent back while the memory of shape is developing.

Are my results permanent?

With newer techniques, reoccurrences are uncommon, and the results should hold.

Who is the best candidate for ear surgery?

Anyone who is bothered by the shape and position of the ear, and is in good health. Fortunately complications are not common and most people are pleased with the results of ear surgery.

Will my insurance cover otoplasty ear surgery?

It depends on the deformity and your specific insurance coverage. The best opportunity for coverage I have found is in the under 10 year age group, although most insurance companies are taking the position that this is a cosmetic issue.

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