Ear Shaping

Cincinnati Plastic Surgery Specialists in ear Shaping (Otoplasty)

Thank you for considering UC Health Plastic Surgery for your plastic surgery procedure. We offer a safe, comfortable atmosphere in our modern, state-of-the-art facility located in West Chester, Ohio, convenient to both Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.  We offer a friendly staff of nurses and administrative support to help with your scheduling issues and questions.

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty refers to reshaping of the ears to correct deformed or protruding ears which interfere with appearance. It is usually done to set prominent ears closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. The procedure can also reshape large or stretched earlobes, or lobes with large creases and wrinkles. In extreme cases where ears are missing due to congenital reasons or injury, the procedure can build new ears. Otoplasty is most often performed on children at least 4 years old, the age at which ears are almost fully grown. Many adults also elect to have this procedure for cosmetic enhancement, and there are no additional risks associated with otoplasty on older patients.

Procedure Benefits

  • Reduce the size of excessively large ears
  • “Pin” prominent ears closer to the head for enhanced appearance
  • Reshape the ears to a desired effect
  • Provide a more consistent looking appearance

Private Consultation

Your plastic surgeon in our conveniently located Cincinnati offices will carefully do an examination of the ears to determine whether you are a candidate for otoplasty. Your goals and expectations will be discussed, and the surgeon will explain the surgical options. The surgeon will evaluate your overall health to ascertain that you are able to undergo this procedure. You should be prepared to discuss your complete medical history, including previous procedures and any medications you are taking (including vitamins). You will also discuss the cost of the procedure, keeping in mind that this is an elective procedure which is not covered by most insurance companies.


If you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, it must be controlled before you can undergo this procedure. For at least two weeks prior to surgery, you must stop taking any blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements. After you have scheduled a surgery date, you will make an appointment for pre-admission testing and a physical exam. Your surgeon may also require you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before your surgery. The surgery should take place within 2 weeks after the results of these tests have been returned. You will receive guidelines on eating and drinking, taking vitamins and medications, and smoking. Smoking should be stopped 2-3 months before the operation because it reduces the blood supply to tissue. In fact, some surgeons will refuse to perform elective surgery on smokers due to this risk. You should arrange for someone to drive you home from our Cincinnati offices after your surgery and to help you out for a few days if needed.

Procedure Overview

The procedure is performed in 1-2 hours as an outpatient surgery in our surgical facility in West Chester. Young children usually receive general anaesthesia, while older children and adults usually receive local anaesthesia and a sedative to help relax. A small incision is made in the crease behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage, which is then sculpted and reshaped back toward the head. Permanent sutures may be used to correct and maintain the new shape of the ear. Alternatively, skin is removed and sutures are used to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage. To reduce the size of large ears, an incision may be placed on the front of the ear, but in a place where the incision is usually hidden.

Recovery and Healing Time

You should be ready to go home after a few hours, but you may prefer to stay overnight in the hospital with a child until the general anaesthesia wears off. A bandage is worn for the first week, then replaced with a head-band which is worn continuously for a week and then at night for 6 weeks to support the healing and new shape of the ears. When the dressing is removed, the ears will be somewhat swollen and may throb or ache, but this can be relieved by medication. Sutures are usually removed in about a week, if they are not self-dissolving. Most adults can return to work in 5-7 days after surgery and to full activity in about 2 weeks. Children can return to school after 1 week, but should be very careful in their activities, and all patients must avoid bending the ears for at least a month.

Procedure Risks

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Infection
  • Bleeding or blood clot on the ear
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry (between sides)

UC Health Plastic Surgery in West Chester, has three nationally recognized Cincinnati plastic surgeons.

Located north of Cincinnati, we serve West Chester, Mason, Loveland, Indian Hill and the rest of Greater Cincinnati and Dayton for all of their plastic surgery procedure needs.

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