Protruding or unnaturally shaped ears can burden a child or adult through life. Minor surgical procedures can be performed to reshape the ears before children experience much of the potential psychological burden afforded by their peers. Similarly, reshaping an adult’s ears may result in an improved self-image with bolstered confidence. Otoplasty is the medical term for elective surgical reshaping of the ear.

The procedure can be performed generally at age 6-years or older. This is when the ear cartilage is at an appropriate size for surgery, and when children can follow post-operative instructions. Children between the ages of 6 and 16 years will have the surgery performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center. Patients over the age of 16 years can have the procedure performed with intravenous sedation in an operating room, or even under local anesthesia and oral sedation in an office-based setting.

Incisions for an otoplasty are generally placed behind the ear, and heal hidden and exceptionally well. Sutures remain in for 6-7 days. Post-operative discomfort is usually easily controlled using oral pain medication, which patients can usually transition from after 1-3 days. Children can return to a school environment after 1 week. Adults can return to their schedule of daily activities within 1 week. Patients cannot swim under water or participate in any contact physical activities which can harm the ears for at least 6 weeks.

Reshaping a protruding or malformed ear can invoke a significant improvement in self-esteem. Otoplasty is a very rewarding procedure for both patients and Dr. Sparano. The results are long-lasting, and of course natural-appearing.


Is it ever too late to have otoplasty performed?
It is never too late to experience the benefits of otoplasty.

Where are the incisions made for otoplasty?
The incisions for otoplasty are small and hidden behind the ear. These incisions usually heal quite well and are extremely difficult to see, if visible at all

What is the recovery like after otoplasty?
Patients will usually experience a throbbing-type pain during the first 1-4 days following the procedure. This is controlled using oral pain medications. The head and ears will be wrapped for the first post-operative night, and depending upon the patient’s age, possibly for the remainder of the first week. The patient is instructed to wear a headband given by Dr. Sparano during nights of the first post-operative month.