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Otoplasty, or ear surgery, can change the size, shape and position of the ears on the head. Otoplasty can be done as a facial plastic service to correct ears that appear too large or protrude, so that ears are set closer to the head. It can also correct misshapen ears that result from defects or injury. The facial plastic surgery is most often done on both ears to create a symmetrical appearance.
During the procedure, the facial plastic surgeon makes small incisions at the back of the ear to access and reshape the ear cartilage. Following the facial plastic surgery, stitches are used to close the incisions.
Patients typically have a head wrap placed after surgery to minimize swelling, although bruising and swelling are both common. Patients are asked to wear a headband 24 hours a day for 1-2 weeks after surgery to facilitate healing. Pain is mild to moderate. Some patients need narcotic pain medications, but some require only over the counter pain medications. It is best to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for two weeks after surgery, and most patients take off 1-2 weeks from work postoperatively.