Prominent Ear Correction for Children

An otoplasty (or pinnaplasty) is an operation to re-set the position of prominent ears, pinning ears back and moving them closer in towards the head.

Prominent ears are a cause of social embarrassment and may be surgically corrected. 


At A Glance

Hospital stay

Day case

Operation time

45 - 90 minutes


Usually general in children 

Back to school

 5 days


3 weeks avoid contact sports for 6 weeks


48 hours

Full Recovery

2 weeks

Frequenty Asked Questions

What is prominent ear correction?

Prominence of the ears is a cause of social embarrassment and may be surgically corrected. The two commonest problems are the failure of the anti-helical fold in the ear to develop or of the bowl (conchae) of the ear is too large. The surgery can be undertaken either in childhood from the age of 6 years onwards or in adulthood. It may be undertaken either under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia and is usually performed as a day-case procedure.


What types of surgical procedures are available?

There are many different techniques described with the two most common being a posterior sutural correction and an anterior scoring technique. Alternative techniques are used to address specific areas such as large pendulous earlobes, excessively large conchal bowls or large upper portions of the ear.

Usually, Mr Sawyer will not operate on your child until the age of 6 years. The operation can be performed at either Spire Southampton or Bournemouth Nuffield hospital.

Is prominent surgery suitable for my child?

Your child is most likely to benefit from an otoplasty if one or more of the following conditions apply to them.

  • Your child is self-conscious about the size or shape of their ears, and they have said this without any prompting from adults.

  • Your child is being teased and this is causing them distress. It is important to consider your child’s personality. Some children react badly to even mild teasing. If their ears are only a little unusual, an otoplasty will not make much difference and the teasing may continue. It may be better to help their social skills so they can cope with teasing.

  • Your child has unusually-shaped ears, ears that are large and stick out (‘bat ears’) or ears that are different from each other (asymmetry).


An otoplasty will not improve your child’s physical health. For this reason, the operation should be performed only if the aim is to improve their self-confidence and to make them more comfortable with their appearance.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your child’s ears should have a better shape. Most children who have a successful otoplasty are more comfortable with their appearance.

What is the recovery like following otoplasty?

Bulky bandages will be removed after 4 - 5 days, after which a headband will need to be worn at night for two weeks. You can expect to recover fully within two weeks. It is wise to avoid any activity or contact sports that may cause your ears to bend for at least 6 weeks.

How long do the results last?

Ear reshaping surgery is an operation that is designed to last a lifetime.

Putting the most important person in someone else's hands who you've only met a few times is a very hard choice to come to terms with but every step of the way Mr Sawyer has been excellent in every way.

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