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What is Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?

What is Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)? | Houston, TexasEar reshaping surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that aims to correct the shape, size, and appearance of one or both ears to make them proportionate to the face and head.


The Fundamentals

Ear reshaping surgery is one of the few cosmetic procedures that can also be undertaken on children. But the child should have achieved complete ear development prior to receiving this surgery.

Ear shape deformities typically occur from birth and can be easily corrected with otoplasty.

The cosmetic surgeon will cautiously evaluate the shape and condition of the ear relative to the face and head structure and then recommend a suitable otoplasty surgery plan. The objective of the surgeon should be to accomplish the desired outcomes in the least invasive way possible.

Board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak provides ear surgery to patients in Houston, Texas, and surrounding locations.


Ideal Candidates

Any person who is in good overall health and is concerned about the appearance of large, misshaped, flapping, or asymmetrical ears can be an ideal candidate for otoplasty.

A child will misshapen, or deformed ears can also undergo this plastic surgery if they are at least five years of age, and the ear cartilage has developed fully and achieved stability.

Teenagers and adults are equally suitable candidates for ear reshaping cosmetic surgery.


Common Congenital Defects

  • Cagot Ear: Absence of earlobe
  • Cat’s Ear: The ear edges are folded forward
  • Lop Ear: The ear sharply curves inward
  • Scroll Ear: The ear is curled forward
  • Wildermuth’s Ear: The top curve of the ear is reversed
  • Stahl’s Ear Deformity: Abnormal folding of the ear
  • Cleft Earlobe: An indent within in the earlobe

At times, skin cancer and malignant melanoma patients require ear surgery to eliminate cancer and then reconstruct the remaining tissue.


Surgical Procedure

Otoplasty is undertaken with mild general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. In case the ears are quite protuberant, the surgeon may augment or enhance the anti-helical fold inside the rim of the ear. They will simultaneously reduce the enlarged conchal cavity.

The surgeon will usually place the incisions behind the ears so that the scars remain discreet. Some patients may require ear reshaping on the front side. But even then, the incisions will be made within the ear folds. The newly shaped cartilage will then be sutured into the desired position.

The incisions will be sealed with external sutures once the procedure is complete. In the hands of an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon, otoplasty can create natural-looking and beautiful outcomes. Generally, the results of this procedure are permanent.



The recovery duration can differ between two patients, depending on the extent of the procedure and whether one or both ears have been operated upon. Most patients will be able to resume their regular routine or return to work in a week.

The patient may need to use pain meds during the initial few days after the procedure to remain comfortable. From the second week onwards, bruising and inflammation will subside considerably.

The surgeon will usually remove external sutures at the time of the first post-operative appointment at the end of the first week.

Female cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak receives patients from Houston, Texas, and nearby areas for ear surgery.
For more information on procedures and treatments provided by board-certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak please call us to schedule a consultation at 713.322.7265 or click here. Offices in Houston, Texas.