Prominent Ear Correction

When ears excessively stick out from the side of the head it is known as prominent ears or colloquially as “bat ears”. It can run in the family and cause distress and anxiety. Unfortunately, some children with prominent ears suffer from teasing and bullying at school while some adults feel that having prominent ears detracts from their facial harmony.

Prominent ear correction, also known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty, improves the shape, position or proportion of the ear.

Who is a suitable candidate?

Healthy adults or teenagers with a positive outlook and a specific goal in mind for ear surgery will be assessed for their suitability for treatment.

Children over the age of 5 years are considered for surgery when they are old enough to communicate their feelings about their ears and voice no objection when surgery is discussed. They have to be old enough to understand, cooperate and follow instructions.

What happens before surgery?

You will be asked to stop certain medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen or herbal medicines that might increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.

If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks before and a similar length after surgery to reduce the chances of wound healing issues.

What does the surgery involve and how long it takes?

The surgery involves making a cut behind the ear. This allows the cartilage to be re-shaped with permanent stitches that will not be visible.

The cut in the skin will also be stitched back together with dissolvable suture material.

The procedure can be done under local or general anesthetic for adults. For children, the procedure is done under a short general anaesthetic.

The procedure can take between one to two hours depending on the extent and degree of correction required.

What happens after surgery?

You can go home the same day with a head bandage and simple pain relief. Expect some itchiness and mild discomfort from the dressing site.

You will be seen 1 week after surgery for removal of your head bandage. At this point, you will be asked to wear a head band (tennis band) for 6 weeks in the evenings.

You can return to work after 1 week but avoid strenuous activity up to 4 to 6 weeks.

A follow up after 3 months will be organised to assess your satisfaction and overall experience.

What are the risks and complications?

Prominent ear correction has a low risk of complications and a high level of satisfaction. However possible risks include:

  • Unfavourable scarring
  • Wound healing problems
  • Bleeding (haematoma)
  • Infection
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Asymmetry
  • Possibility of revision surgery

Ear surgery is a very individualised procedure and you should do it for yourself and not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.


Corrective surgery for prominent ears is safe and has a high patient satisfaction rate.

  • Summary
  • Operation time 1-2 hours
  • Anaesthetic local or general anaesthetic
  • Nights in hospital 0 or 1
  • Time off work 1-2 weeks
  • Return to exercise 4-6 weeks


If you have a question regarding a procedure or would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate, please feel free to get in touch.