Ear surgery (otoplasty) is carried out to correct prominent or misshapen ears.  The surgery alters the shape of the ear to improve appearance and place the ear closer to the scalp.

The Operation

Ear surgery is usually carried out as a day procedure. Children are given a general anaesthetic. Adults often have this surgery performed under a local anaesthetic.

A number of techniques can be used to reshape the cartilage, to excise excess cartilage and to fix the ear back, and permanent or dissolving sutures may be used.

The age when the operation is performed is dependent upon patient preference, but by and large the surgery should not be performed until the cartilage skeleton of the ear is well developed. This is usually about 6-7 years of age.

The eventual appearance of the ear will depend on its initial size and shape, and also the healing process postoperatively. There can be no absolute guarantee of normality, or of perfect symmetry between the two ears.

After the operation

A fairly bulky bandage is used which needs to be kept in place for a week. Postoperative pain should be minimal and if pain persists, your surgeon should be consulted as soon as possible. It is usual for the ears to be a little swollen and bruised when the bandages are first removed and the ears should be supported at night for a further two to three weeks with an elastic sports headband.

The cartilage skeleton of the ear retains a “memory” and although the initial result is usually good, it is possible for some later drift to occur, especially at the upper pole. Sometimes this or another visible irregularity may require further surgical adjustment.


The ears will be set back, to a more normal and natural appearing position.

There can be no guarantee with any surgery. Improvement not perfection is the realistic aim.


There is the possibility of risks and complications with all surgery.

Your surgeon will discuss the risks and complications in detail with you at your consultation.


The information provided about otoplasty is intended as a guide, and does not replace full consultation with your surgeon.

If you have any further questions regarding this surgery, be sure to have them answered before you have the operation. Your surgeon will be very happy to explain in greater detail anything in the information provided above or at your consultation.


The cost is approximately $6,500 under local anaesthetic as a rooms based procedure, including the surgical and theatre fee.

The cost under a general anaesthetic in a private hospital including surgeon’s fee, hospital fees and anaesthetic fees is approximately $14,000

A personal quote will be provided after your consultation with one of our surgeons.