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Otoplasty (Ear Correction / Ear Repositioning)

The surgical procedure to correct prominent ears is called otoplasty. If you are unhappy with the shape, size or position of your ears you may benefit from otoplasty.Ear Correction (Ear Repositioning/Otoplasty)

What happens during otoplasty surgery?

Otoplasty can be performed using either a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic and takes between one to two hours to perform.

During the operation your surgeon makes an incision behind your ear. They correct,  reposition or sometimes remove a piece of the cartilage to reduce the angle and position the ears closer to your head. The incision is stitched closed and head bandages will be applied.

You will usually be able to go home on the day of the surgery. Any pain can be controlled by pain relief medication.

Going home after otoplasty

To ensure your ears stay in their new position your bandages will need to stay in place day and night for one week following surgery. When the dressings come off your ears may look red or bruised for awhile.

Your stitches will be removed in 10 - 14 days. You may be asked to wear smaller bandages at night for several weeks.

You will need to rest and avoid strenuous activities for about four weeks as the swelling and bruising decreases. However the new shape will be clearly visible. You should allow three to four months before seeing the final result.

This chart is simply a guide to stages of recovery - It is a normal part of the recovery process to experience some discomfort. We will give you a contact telephone number before you leave hospital that you can ring at any time should you have any questions or concerns. Everyone heals differently so your results may vary. 

1-3 days
3-7 days
7-14 days
6 weeks

You may have a dull ache but the operation should not be painful.

If pain is not controlled by simple pain killers, please contact the hospital

Bandages removed on approximately day seven. Wear a headband at night for comfort (like a tennis sweatband).

Any non-dissolvable stitches will be removed.

Hair can be washed once the dressings are removed.

You may feel able to return to school / work after 7 days.

You can restart any sporting activities including swimming but avoid contact sports for a little longer.

After four weeks, you can sleep without your headband.

You can restart any contact sports after six weeks

Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure and discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.

Specific complications of otoplasty may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Repositioning (ear returns to pre-surgery position, very rare)

Still not sure? Feel free to call us on 0845 603 4346

Many Nuffield Hospitals also hold frequent Cosmetic Surgery Open Events. Visit our Free Events Page and book your place.

Hospitals nationwide


Promise is valid for patients paying for themselves. Excludes assisted conception and IVF treatments. Your initial consultation and any necessary tests are paid for separately.

* Not including private patient units at NHS hospitals. Local area defined as within 15 miles of the Nuffield Health hospital. We will match against written quotes only. 

** Where possible, we promise to assist you to receive any follow up advice, treatment or care that is clinically required from your Consultant for as long as you may require it. If a prosthesis is used as part of your treatment this is guaranteed for the manufacturer’s official lifetime of that prosthesis. “Clinically required” indicates where further intervention and/or monitoring of a patient’s condition is deemed necessary as a direct result of surgical intervention.