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People who have protruding ears may feel self-conscious or dissatisfied with their looks. Otoplasty surgery can correct these issues, surgically readjusting the cartilage in order to create a more ideal ear shape. The procedure can be ideal for adults, as well as children and teenagers.

What is Otoplasty Surgery?

Otoplasty, also known as ear reduction or ear pinning, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of prominent ears. Large or protruding ears are often a result of natural growth and genetics. They can also be caused by injuries or birth defects. Whatever the case, surgery can restore a more ideal appearance to the ears and restore harmony to the facial features. Modern techniques allow surgeons to address an array of issues, such as:

  • Protruding ears on one or both sides
  • Misshapen ears after trauma or injury
  • Overly large ears
  • Issues from previous ear surgeries

By reshaping the ear cartilage, Dr Richardson adjusts the ears into a better position in order to improve the facial proportion.

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Before your otoplasty surgery, Dr Richardson will need to meet with you in order to ensure you are suitable. Good candidates are generally in good health and are non-smokers, as smoking can increase your risk of wound healing issues. This surgery can be ideal for people of any age, as long as the ears have reached their full size, which usually occurs after the age of five. During this meeting, we will discuss your medical needs and history, as well as your reasons for seeking otoplasty surgery. Dr Richardson will tailor your procedure to your needs and ideal outcomes in order to achieve your desired ear shape.

The Procedure

This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Most ear pinning surgeries involve making an incision behind the ear, to be easily hidden. However, in cases that require incisions in the front of the ear, they will be made in the ear’s natural folds. As a result, the scars from your surgery will not be noticeable.

After making the incision, Dr Richardson will then sculpt the shape and reduce large conchal cartilage. The cartilage will be secured in place with internal sutures that will remain there for good. Some patients may need some cartilage removed in order to create the desired look. Following this, external sutures will close the incisions. Dr Richardson will use external sutures to close the incisions, taking care to reduce scarring.

The surgery typically takes around two hours. The result is an improved ear shape that looks natural and proportionate to your other features.

Cost of Otoplasty Surgery

Fees can vary, depending on which issues you are seeking to address and your aesthetic goals. When outlining the cost of your procedure, we must take a few factors into account, such as the anaesthetist fee, hospital fees, and your post-op care.

In some cases, patients may be eligible for Medicare or private health rebates. For example, for patients under 18 years old who have a deformity that causes the ears to be prominent, Medicare may cover a portion of the total cost. If you have further questions about costs, we can answer these during your initial meeting.

Your Personal Consultation

Request a Consultation

Your personal consultation is the first step to finding the right procedure for you. Dr Jeremy Richardson is a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon, dedicated to providing quality results and a positive patient experience.

Book your appointment to
  • Discuss your physical concerns and goals
  • Receive an outline of your surgical options
  • Get quality advice from a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
  • Receive a customised treatment plan
  • Meet Dr Richardson’s Patient Coordinator and team who will support you through your journey


After surgery, your incisions will be bandaged. You can expect some amount of pain and swelling, but we can help you manage this with oral pain medication. During recovery, it is important to take care of your operated areas in order to encourage the best possible result. We will give you instructions on how to do this. For example, you may need to:

  • Rest on your back with your head propped up
  • Wear compression garments
  • Take prescribed medicine
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry
  • Avoid activities that put pressure on the head or ears
  • Consult Dr Richardson if any issues arise

While healing can be different for every patient based on their age, health, and procedure, most patients can expect:

  • Mild pain for the first one to two days
  • Return to work after five to seven days
  • Resume your normal workout routine after six to eight weeks, but continue to avoid contact sports

Risks and Complications

When performed by a qualified surgeon such as Dr Richardson, the risks of otoplasty surgery are low. However, despite the low risk, complications can still occur. You should make sure to be aware of the risks before pursuing surgery to ensure you are fully informed. Risks of this procedure can include:

  • Bleeding and infection
  • Lasting pain and swelling
  • Reactions to anaesthesia
  • Asymmetry
  • Poor wound healing
  • Changes in skin colour or sensation
  • Visible scarring
  • Revision surgery to correct issues

Adherence to your at-home care advice will help your body heal and thus reduce your risks.

Otoplasty FAQ

Am I a good candidate for otoplasty surgery?

How can I prepare?

Can ear surgery affect my hearing?

When will I see the results?

What do I need to know when preparing for surgery?