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Ear Shaping in San Diego

Unbalanced ears force many adults and children to deal with unwanted social ridicule. Whether you have struggled with protruding ears all of your life or are a parent of a child with over large years, you likely understand the damage that prominent ears have to self-esteem and self-image.

Ear shaping (otoplasty) improves the size, shape, and position of the ears to fall in better balance and harmony with the surrounding facial features.

What Are the Benefits of Ear Shaping?

ReducedEar Size

Most peoples’ ears are fully developed by the age of four or five. Therefore, those with overly large ears will develop them early in life. Ear shaping surgery can reduce the size of large ears to bring them in better balance with surrounding facial features.

RepositionedEar Placement

Candidates for ear shaping commonly complain about ears that stick out too far from the head. This alters the shape of your face and frequently results in unnecessary and unflattering teasing. Otoplasty repositions and “pins” the ears closer to the head.

ReshapedEar Contours

While somre individuals are born with misshapen ears, others develop irregularities during their infant nursing years or in response to continual hat wearing. Otoplasty can reshape the ears and return symmetry to unbalanced ears.

How Is Ear Shaping Performed?


Your consultation with Coastal Plastic Surgeons is an essential part of your or your child’s ear shaping surgery journey. During this meeting, you will discuss what to expect from the procedure and determine whether you are a candidate.

If otoplasty is being performed on a child, this consultation will allow the surgeon to explain the seriousness of the surgery and ensure that both parent and child are prepared.


Ear shaping surgery can be performed using local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. General anesthesia is commonly chosen for children, as this eliminates nerves and anxiety.

Incisions are made behind the ear or within the inner creases of the ear. Excess skin and cartilage are removed, which resizes and positions the ears closer to the head—making them less noticeable. Incisions are then closed and dressed.

Otoplasty often takes between one and two hours to complete.

Combination Procedures

Adult otoplasty patients may consider combining their ear shaping with an additional facial rejuvenation procedure. Some procedures include:


Following your ear shaping surgery, your ears will be covered with bandages. While most otoplasty patients do not experience significant downtime, you want to make sure that you do not irritate the ears—this often means wearing loose clothing that will not cling to the ears when dressing and sleeping with your head in an upright position without pressure on the ears.

It is common to experience some bruising, swelling, and itching after otoplasty. While difficult, it is essential to leave your ears alone during the healing process.

Most otoplasty patients return to work or school within one week but should avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks.
Incisions for ear shaping surgery are made behind the ear. These incisions will result in slight scars, but as they are placed in the crease behind the ear, they are barely noticeable—if at all. All residual scarring fades with time and can be covered by hair.
The techniques required during an ear shaping surgery vary from patient to patient. Therefore, the cost of ear shaping surgery varies as well when considering techniques, surgeon’s fees, anesthesia, facility fees, pre-surgical tests, and post-surgical dressings. You will be given an accurate cost estimate during your consultation with Coastal Plastic Surgeons once your ears are evaluated.
Ear shaping surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia to ensure a painless process. Some discomfort may develop in the hours or days following your surgery, which can be alleviated with prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication. Most otoplasty patients experience minimal post-operative pain.

Ear Shaping Results

View our gallery page for the procedures and treatments at Coastal Plastic Surgeons. At Coastal Plastic Surgeons, we believe in our methods and techniques for lasting results that can change your life. We offer procedures on everything from breast augmentation and body contouring, to facial aesthetics, hair restoration, and skin resurfacing. Every treatment is displayed here in our gallery.

Patient Testimonials

..Right from the initial appointment I knew that I had found a truly skilled surgeon with a warm and open heart. He really listened to what I had to say and then offered his professional opinions in a warm and compassionate way..
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Frequently Asked Questions

How should I prepare for my ear shaping surgery?

Before undergoing ear shaping surgery, you will need to consult with your surgeon about any previous operations or medications. You should also stop smoking, obtain a medical evaluation, and avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

Are there any risks or complications associated with ear shaping surgery?

Otoplasty surgery is very safe, regardless of a patient’s age. While rare, some complications may develop, including bruising, swelling, infection, bleeding, changes in skin sensation, and unfavorable scarring.

Who is a candidate for ear shaping?

Ideal ear shaping candidates are healthy children or adults that are displeased with the aesthetics of their ears. Candidates should not smoke and have realistic expectations of their results. If you are choosing otoplasty for your child, it is necessary to make sure they are aware and knowledgeable of what is to come and what surgery means.
Ear shaping surgery only addresses the ears’ look. It cannot aid hearing.

When will I see my ear shaping results?

After ear shaping surgery, results are visible right away and will continue to improve as bruising and swelling subside. Otoplasty is typically considered to be permanent—barring injury or something of that nature. Regardless of your age, your ear surgery results are not expected to change.

How old do you have to be to have otoplasty?

Ear shaping surgery (otoplasty) is one of the few procedures that can be performed on children and adults alike. Most otoplasty patients are, in fact, children. If your child suffers from overly large or protruding ears, otoplasty may be appropriate as long as your child’s ears are fully developed. This usually occurs around the age of five.