Surgery of protruding ears

What you need to know

The correction of protruding ears requires a surgical procedure, called "otoplasty", to reshape the ear auricles considered excessively visible.
The operation is usually performed on both ears but can sometimes be unilateral.
An otoplasty is designed to correct cartilage abnormalities in the ear auricle that are responsible for its "detached" appearance. Three types of malformations that are often more or less associated with each other can be distinguished:
• Too much angle between the auricle of the ear and the skull resulting in the real "detachment" (Helix Valgus).
• Excessive size of the concha cartilage projecting the ear forward, which accentuates the protruding appearance (hypertrophy of the concha).
• A defect in the plication of the usual cartilage reliefs that causes the auricle of the ear to appear too smooth, almost "unfolded" (defect in the plication of the antelix).


Duration of hospital stay
1 day
the operation is performed on an "outpatient" basis, i.e. in day time hospitalisation with an authorised discharge the same day after a few hours of supervision.
Average length of stay
3 to 4 days.
The first bandage will be removed between the next day and the 3rd post-operative day.

Surgery of protruding ears or Otoplasty.
Surgery of protruding ears or Otoplasty.

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Before the treatment

A careful examination of the ears and a photographic check-up will have been carried out by the surgeon in order to analyse the modifications to be made.
A regular preoperative check-up is carried out in accordance with the instructions
In case of anaesthesia other than purely local anaesthesia, the anaesthetist will be seen in consultation at the latest 48 hours before the operation.
No medication containing aspirin should be taken within 10 days of the procedure.
Types of anaesthesia and hospitalization modalities:
Type of anesthesia:
Three procedures are possible:
• Pure local anaesthesia where an anesthetic is injected locally to ensure the insensitivity of the ears.
Local anaesthesia extended with tranquilizers administered intravenously ("vigilant" anaesthesia).
• Classic general anaesthesia during which you are completely asleep.
The choice between these different techniques will be the result of a discussion between you, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.
Hospitalization conditions: Usually the operation is performed on an "outpatient" basis, i.e. in day time hospitalisation with an authorised discharge the same day after a few hours of supervision. However, in some cases a short hospital stay may be preferred. It may be advisable to stay in hospital overnight after the procedure.

What does it involve?

Each surgeon adopts a technique that is unique to him/her and that he/she adapts to each case to obtain the best results. However, common basic principles can be retained:
Skin incisions:
Usually they are located in the retro-auricular groove, i. e. in the natural fold behind the ear or on the posterior surface of the ear.
In some cases, small additional incisions will be made on the anterior surface of the ear auricle but they will then be hidden in natural folds.
It should be noted that the hair is cut at no time.
The skin is then lifted as needed to access the cartilage.
Cartilaginous remodeling:
The principle is to recreate or improve natural reliefs by refinement and plicatures possibly maintained by fine deep sutures. Sometimes sections or resections of the cartilage are necessary. Finally, the ear auricle is brought back into a good position with respect to the skull and fixed by deep points.
Usually, absorbable sutures are used; otherwise they will have to be removed around the 10th day.
It is made thanks to shaping compresses held by elastic bands around the head to keep the ears in the right position.
Depending on the surgeon and the extent of the disgraces to be fixed, a bilateral otoplasty can last from half an hour to an hour and a half.

Surgery of protruding ears
Surgery of protruding ears

After the treatment

Pain is usually moderate and, if necessary, controlled by analgesic and anti-inflammatory treatment
Otherwise, a consultation with the surgeon or his team is required.
The first bandage will be removed between the next day and the 3rd post-operative day. Beyond that it will usually be replaced by another lighter bandage for a few more days.
The ears may then appear swollen with reliefs masked by the edema (swelling). More or less important bruises are sometimes present which is normal. This possible aspect should not be a cause for concern: it is only transitory and does not in any way compromise the final result.
Exposure to extreme cold is not recommended for at least two months due to the risk of frostbite due to the transient decrease in ear sensitivity. Similarly, the hairdryer should be used with caution.

About Surgery of protruding ears

A period of one to two months is necessary to assess the final result. This is the time required for the tissues to soften and the entire edema to resolve, leaving the ear reliefs clearly visible. After this period, only the scars will still be a little pink and indignant before fading.
The procedure will most often have made it possible to effectively correct the anomalies present and to obtain normally positioned and oriented ears that are well plicatured, symmetrical, of natural size and appearance.
In the vast majority of cases the results are final. However, a recurrence of the disbonding (in principle partial) may occur in the medium term, which may then require a reoperation.
All in all, this procedure effectively corrects the unsightly appearance of protruding ears. It thus puts an end to the frequent mockery or unpleasant remarks that can lead to school conflicts or psychological difficulties.
The purpose of this surgery is to improve, not to achieve perfection. If your wishes are realistic, the result should give you great satisfaction.
MEDICAIM is looking for the best specialists for you and we will offer you several renowned doctors.
MEDICAIM organizes your entire stay for you: post-operative nursing care, biological follow-up, therapeutic, nutritional and psychological support.

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