I’ve always had ears that stick out a bit, but I notice it more as the weather gets warmer and I want to wear my hair back. Is there an easy fix for prominent ears?
John Chi, MD answer:
Prominent ears are common, but for some they can be problematic for self-esteem and self-image. The good news is that prominent or protruding ears can be corrected with a simple cosmetic procedure: otoplasty is an outpatient cosmetic surgery that can permanently change the appearance of your ears.
The first step for surgical correction is identifying the part of the ear that is causing the problem. The ear’s complex shape is created by multiple bends and folds in the cartilage, but there are only a few points critical in correcting the shape of a prominent ear:
- If the upper portion of the ear protrudes more, it is likely caused by improper cartilage folding, like a lack of an anti-helical fold. Without this bend in the ear’s cartilage, the upper portion of the ear will protrude from the head. This deformity is addressed by surgically recreating the absent fold.
- If the middle portion of the ear protrudes more, it is likely caused by an abnormality of the conchal bowl—the curved part of the ear just outside the ear canal. If this cartilage is too large or fails to fully bend, the middle portion of the ear will protrude from the head. This deformity is addressed by trimming the excess cartilage.
Otoplasty is commonly performed through an incision behind the ear, and surgery may be performed on patients as young as six years old. After the procedure, patients wear a headband for a week or two to protect the ears and hold the proper position as they heal. Otoplasty involves minimal downtime from school, work and other normal activities.
Call our office for more information, or for a treatment tailored to your needs: 314-996-3880