Ear Shaping

portrait of a woman

There's no need to live with an ear shape you're unhappy with. Otoplasty can restore a more aesthetically pleasing proportion to your ears or repair stretched or damaged earlobes.



Otoplasty in Richmond, VA

Well-proportioned ears seem to blend in perfectly—we don’t notice them because they’re in harmony with our other facial features. However, if your ears appear out of proportion or misshapen, then you may notice them every time you look in the mirror. Protruding ears can also have a negative impact on a child’s self-image, subjecting him to undeserved teasing or social anxiety.

If you or your child are bothered by these problems, ear reshaping surgery with Dr. Chen can help you restore a more normal, natural shape to your ears and feel more confident in your appearance.

What can ear reshaping surgery correct?

Ear reshaping is personalized to your needs and goals. Dr. Chen is experienced in a variety of techniques to improve proportion, repair stretched or torn tissue, and correct defects in the contour of the ear. Common problems that ear shaping surgery can correct include:

  • Unnaturally protruding ears
  • Disproportionately large or small ears
  • Abnormal cartilage shape, such as “shell ear” or “lop ear”
  • Asymmetry due to injury or illness
  • Stretched or torn earlobes

Ear reshaping surgery for adults

You’re never too old to benefit from ear reshaping if you’re unhappy with your ears. Dr. Chen has helped many adult patients improve the shape and proportion of their ears through procedures including:

  • Ear pinning to bring protruding ears closer to the head
  • Earlobe repair to correct misshapen earlobes or close holes created from ear gauges
  • Cartilage reshaping to repair the effects of injury or resize the ears

Adult otoplasty can often be performed using local anesthesia and sedation. Recovery time varies depending on the case, but patients are typically back to most normal daily activities within 5 days. Dr. Chen will discuss surgery and recovery in detail at your consultation.

Ear Surgery for Children

Ear pinning is one of the most common cosmetic procedures for children. Surgery can be safely performed on boys and girls as young as 5 or 6 years of age, when the ears have fully developed. Dr. Chen typically performs otoplasty for children using general anesthesia, provided by a board certified anesthesiologist. Patients are typically able to return to school about 1 week after surgery, and may participate in most non-contact sports after 1 to 2 weeks.

Undergoing otoplasty at an earlier age can have important social and emotional benefits, helping a child avoid teasing about his or her appearance and enhancing self-esteem.

About the otoplasty procedure in Richmond

Dr. Chen varies his surgical technique depending on your anatomy and the issue you’d like to correct. Ear pinning typically involves an incision in the back of the ear, through which Dr. Chen removes excess skin and remodels the collagen so that the ear sits closer to the head.

Other procedures, such as earlobe repair or surgery to correct an unnatural fold in the upper part of the ear (i.e. “lop ear”), may involve additional incisions, located in the natural creases of the ear. In the vast majority of cases, scars are very difficult to detect once healed.

When will I see results?

The patient’s ears are bandaged for the first several days after surgery. Although a post-operative bruising and swelling will be a factor for several weeks, improvements made with ear shaping are noticeable more or less immediately after bandaged are removed. Results are close to their final shape in about 2 weeks.

Are you interested in ear reshaping surgery for yourself or your child? We invite you to learn more about your options during a personal consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen M. Chen. Call our office at 804-285-4115 or contact us using the form below.