Otoplasty (pinning the ears back) is commonly done in childhood but is also done for adults with prominent ears. This is usually done as an office procedure for adults, but for children, a general anesthesia is preferable. Whether adult or child, the correction of prominent ear deformity is done outpatient.
Prominent ears result from the failure of the cartilage of the ear to bend in utero into a normal configuration to produce the antihelical fold. In addition, the cartilage of the conchal bowl can be overdeveloped. Correction entails surgically bending the cartilage with suture to produce the normal antihelical fold, and sometimes surgically removing some of the overdeveloped conchal bowl cartilage. These maneuvers allow the ears to be placed in a more normal position closer to the head
Results are predictable and restore a normal appearance. The incisions are concealed behind the ears. For children, this can be important for a more normal integration into the school environment. For adults, it can be even more satisfying.
As with most surgeries, 6 weeks of healing are required. During this time, normal (non-athletic, non-stressful) activites are allowed. Protection of the repairs during this time is mandatory, which entails use of a terry-cloth headband at all times. This is normally purchased from an athletic store.