Prominent ear correction (Otoplasty / pinnaplasty)

Some inherent individual characteristics, congenital defects, or alterations from injuries can lead to a certain displeasing aesthetic to your ears, which can affect your confidence, self-esteem, and at times, your quality of life. An Otoplasty, or prominent ear correction, offers a constructive surgical solution for such instances.

Otoplasty refers to various surgical procedures designed to alter the shape, position, or size of the ears, using permanent sutures to create a stable and lasting adjustment. The predominant purpose of otoplasty is to address and correct protruding ears.

This surgical procedure is not confined to dealing solely with protrusion but also effectively treats other ear-related aesthetic issues. Conditions such as macrotia (overly large ears), dissatisfaction resulting from previous ear surgeries, and deviations in ear symmetry on one or both sides, which are not related to our hearing, also fall within the criteria for otoplasty.

The otoplasty procedure in London aims to produce a natural, proportioned ear shape, enhancing facial balance and restoring symmetry. The end goal? To extend beyond physical appearance, uplifting your self-esteem and, at times, restoring some auditory capacity.

At a glance

Procedure Length:
Procedure Length:

Typically, 2-3 hours.

Day Case:
Day Case:

No overnight stay is required.


May be performed under local or general anaesthesia.


Typically, 1-2 weeks.


Can be resumed 48 hours post-procedure, taking care to avoid getting the ears wet.


Elevation of the head and sleeping on the back are recommended for the initial recovery period.


Should be avoided near the incisions until they are healed, typically 1-2 weeks post-surgery.


Refrain from driving for at least 48 hours or while taking pain medication.


Avoid smoking at least 2 weeks before and after the procedure.

Direct Sun Exposure:
Direct Sun Exposure:

Use a high SPF and wear a hat/cover incisions for the first few weeks.

Benefits of a Prominent Ear Correction

An otoplasty procedure can bring many benefits. Understanding these key benefits can help you get to terms with what an otoplasty can bring, and it can allow you to set realistic expectations for the results you may see. Here are several principal advantages of undergoing prominent ear correction or otoplasty:

  • Correction of Prominent Ears:

    Otoplasty allows for the adjustment of ears that extend beyond the common 25° to 35° angle from the head, reducing the appearance of “sticking out”. This means that the ears can be subtly “flattened” and repositioned in a way that promotes symmetry and produces a more aesthetically pleasing look.

  • Enhance Your Self-Confidence:

    Enhance Your Self-Confidence: There is a recognised connection between self-confidence and satisfaction with physical appearance. You or your child can experience a significant boost in self-esteem and comfort in the way you look following a prominent ear correction.

  • Natural Facial Appearance:

    Otoplasty enables the reshaping and resizing of ears, providing a solution for issues like abnormally small or large ears, or ears that appear folded or cupped. The main fold in the ear can be recreated if absent or less well formed.

  • Lasting Results:

    The results of otoplasty are permanent, ensuring that the aesthetic changes achieved during the typically one to two-hour procedure will provide lasting benefits.

Surgical Techniques Used

The surgical approach taken for an otoplasty can vary based on the individual’s unique anatomy and desired outcomes. Several key techniques have been developed and refined over the years to achieve the best possible results. Below are the most commonly employed surgical techniques in otoplasty

This technique is used to adjust the fold just inside the rim of the ear. By modifying the antihelical fold, surgeons can reduce the prominence of ears that ‘stick out’ too far from the head.

Addressing the conchal cartilage, which is the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear, can change the ear’s angle relative to the side of the head. This technique might involve removing or reshaping a part of the cartilage to achieve the desired look.

In some cases, the earlobe may also require adjustment. This might involve resizing or repositioning the earlobe to align with the rest of the ear.

To secure and maintain the new shape of the ear, long-lasting sutures are typically placed within the ear. These sutures offer long-term results, ensuring the ear maintains its new shape.

Surgeons will usually make incisions on the back surface of the ear.

Occasionally, excess skin might be removed from the back of the ear to complement the reshaped cartilage and ensure a smooth, natural appearance.

Otoplasty Procedure Steps

Mr Kshem Yapa performs all procedures in a sterile surgical environment, prioritising patient safety and adherence to rigorous medical standards. Below are the primary steps involved in an otoplasty procedure.

  • Anaesthesia

    The choice of anaesthesia, whether local with intravenous sedation or general, is determined during your initial consultation and administered just before your surgery. The purpose of the anaesthetic is to make sure you’re comfortable during the procedure.

  • Creating the Incision

    Starting off, a precise incision is made, typically on the back of the ear to minimise visible scarring. Mr Kshem Yapa will then apply multiple surgical techniques to reshape the ear, such as altering the antihelical fold and possibly reducing the conchal cartilage. If front ear incisions are required, they are often concealed within the ear’s natural folds to reduce the risk of any visible scars forming. Stable, internal sutures are utilised to hold the newly formed cartilage in position.

  • Securing the Incisions

    Once the reshaping is complete, external stitches are used to close the incisions, employing techniques that ensure the natural aesthetics of the ear are preserved and do not appear unnaturally “pinned back”.

  • Results

    The benefits of otoplasty are visible soon after the procedure, especially once the initial dressings are removed. Your ears will be set closer to your head, and any scars will be discretely located behind the ear or within its natural creases.

Risks and Complications

All surgical procedures, despite thorough planning and skilful execution, carry some degree of risk. Mr Kshem Yapa prioritises patient safety and minimisation of complications through meticulous approach and by following health and safety precautions, but it’s important to note that the probability of risk of complications cannot be reduced to zero. Below are examples of the possible risks and complications that can occur:

A rare but treatable complication, typically managed with antibiotics.

Occasionally, blood may collect in the ear, requiring drainage and potentially extending the recovery period.

An infrequent issue where the ear is too closely aligned to the head, potentially requiring further intervention.

The ears may not be pulled back sufficiently, occasionally necessitating additional minor procedures for optimisation.

Sutures, especially those that are long lasting, may become visible or protrude over time, and might need removal.

Over the years, the natural elasticity of ear cartilage can cause a shift back towards its original position.

Rarely, outcomes may not fully align with patient expectations, and further surgical adjustment might be discussed.


You may feel some pain and tenderness immediately after your otoplasty, which is entirely normal. Mr Kshem Yapa may apply a long-acting anaesthetic to minimise pain and discomfort for an initial period of 3 to 5 hours to help. Subsequent pain, typically mild and significantly reduced after the first day, can be managed effectively with prescribed pain medication. 


A bulky dressing will be secured in place for the initial 3 days post-operation to keep gentle compression around your ear. Though some individuals find this dressing somewhat bothersome, understand that it’s important to facilitate healing. 


You may be asked to wear a ski band or a similar supportive bandage during sleep for the first 1-2 months following the surgery to prevent your ear from folding back. 


Any bruising or discolouration that typically occurs after surgery should disappear within 10 days, and you’ll find you are able to return to work approximately a week after the procedure, depending on how you heal and what your job is. 


You will be provided with a direct phone line to our experienced specialist cosmetic surgery nurse who provides an on call service 24 hrs a day, from the moment you have surgery, for any questions or concerns you may have or any other support you may need. We take pride in making sure our patients are well looked after following surgery and want you to feel well supported throughout your journey with us.

Book your consultation

If you would like to discuss this procedure in detail and understand if it’s the right procedure for your goals, book a consultation with Mr Kshem Yapa.


Get in touch today

If you would like to book a consultation with Kshem Yapa or learn a little more about our procedures and services please contact us via the form below to request a call back. We offer face-to-face consultations at our Harley Street Clinic and virtual consultations for those unable to attend our clinic.