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Is It Ever Too Late to Reshape Your Ears?4 min read

Is It Ever Too Late to Reshape Your Ears?
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“Is it ever too late to reshape your ears?” 

We often receive this question from people who’ve spent years, perhaps even decades, feeling self-conscious about their protruding or misshapen ears. 

The answer is a reassuring “no!”

Otoplasty, a surgical procedure designed to alter the shape, position, or size of the ears, isn’t just for the young. Adults, too, can take advantage of this transformative procedure to gain renewed confidence! 

The aim of this article is to shed light on the benefits, procedure, and post-operative care involved in otoplasty, proving that it’s never too late to feel good about your ear aesthetic!

What Does Otoplasty Surgery Entail?

Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, is a personalized procedure designed to improve the ears’ appearance to better align with your aesthetic goals. Although it is commonly sought to correct “protruding ears”, otoplasty can also address issues such as unusual size or shape, and can even be used to reconstruct ears after injury.


Plastic surgeons performed over 53,000 otoplasty procedures in the U.S. in 2020 alone!

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgery


At its core, the procedure involves reshaping the ear’s cartilage — the flexible tissue that provides the ear with its form. Depending on the specific goals, the surgeon may remove some cartilage, fold and stitch it in strategic places, or graft it from another area.

The procedure typically takes about 2 hours, and can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on your comfort and the procedure complexity. 

Post-surgery, you’ll likely experience some swelling and discomfort, all manageable with medication. A bandage is often applied to provide support for the newly shaped ears and to protect the surgical site. It’s normal for the ears to appear larger initially due to swelling, but as it subsides over a few weeks, you’ll begin to see the final result.

While it is a significant surgical procedure, otoplasty is generally outpatient, meaning you’ll likely return home the same day of the surgery.

Do Age and Otoplasty Go Hand in Hand?

A common misconception about otoplasty is that it is primarily designed for children and young adults. 

15% of the 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year present abnormally shaped ears.

Source: HealthyChildren.org

While the procedure is frequently carried out on children to prevent bullying and self-esteem issues, age does not substantially limit the possibility of undergoing otoplasty

The flexibility of ear cartilage does decrease with age, which may slightly alter the surgical approach. However, it doesn’t significantly impact the outcome!

As long as you’re in good health, the desire for aesthetic change may come to life at any age through otoplasty. Regardless of the number on your birthday cake, if you’re considering otoplasty, remember that it’s your comfort and confidence that truly matter!

What Does It Mean to Be a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?

Being a good candidate for otoplasty implies that you meet several key criteria that increase the likelihood of a successful procedure and a satisfying outcome. 

First and foremost, optimal health is crucial, as it minimizes the risk of complications and aids in recovery. 

Furthermore, it’s vital to have a clear and realistic understanding of what the surgery can achieve. Otoplasty will bring your ears into better proportion with your head or make them less prominent, but it won’t lead to “perfect” ears. 

Also, patience is key, as final results may take several months to manifest fully.

How Do Otoplasty Results Hold Up Over Time?

Otoplasty offers durable and, in many cases, permanent results, allowing patients to enjoy the benefits of the procedure for a lifetime! The reshaped cartilage is inherently stable and typically maintains its form well over time. 

However, just like any part of the body, ears are not completely immune to the effects of aging and lifestyle factors.

Natural aging can bring about minor changes, but these are usually subtle and don’t detract significantly from the improved aesthetic achieved through surgery. Trauma to the ear can potentially alter the results, so it’s advised to protect your ears from injury as much as possible.

Remember that every patient has a unique otoplasty experience. It’s important to have regular follow-ups with your surgeon to ensure your results are holding up as expected, and to address any concerns promptly. 

With proper care, you can expect your otoplasty results to stand the test of time!

Start Your Otoplasty Journey With Dr. Chang!

Ready to begin your otoplasty journey? Meet us at 19500 Sandridge Way, Suite 350, Leesburg, VA 20176, or call us at (703) 574-4342 for a complimentary consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang before moving forward with your procedure! If everything matches up, our team will help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end! Also, remember to check out our blog and social media for more information on plastic surgery and plastic surgery trends!


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