Otoplasty (surgery to correct protruding ears) can be performed at almost any age. Most often, surgery is performed on children at age 5 or 6 when the ear is approaching full development. Dr. Freeman recommends that otoplasty be performed at his Charlotte, NC practice before a child starts school to avoid psychological trauma and teasing. Adults are also excellent candidates for otoplasty; generally, there are no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an adult.

Otoplasty can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth that becomes apparent with development, or this procedure can treat misshapen ears caused by injury by shaping the ear to a normal appearance and bringing the ear back toward the scalp to a normal location.

Dr. Freeman is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.  Request your consultation online to receive $25 off your consultation fee or call Dr. Freeman’s office at (704) 543-1110.

The Procedure

Dr. Freeman will reshape and reposition the cartilage of the ear, bringing it closer to the head, to give the ear a more normal appearance. The required incision is placed behind the ears, so the scar is well hidden. For younger patients, general anesthesia may be used, so the child will sleep through the surgery. Older patients may choose local anesthesia combined with a sedative.

Dr. Freeman performs otoplasty by making a small incision in the back of the ear, sculpting the exposed cartilage and positioning the ear back toward the head. Usually, he will reshape other areas of ear cartilage to provide a more natural-looking appearance.


Dr. Freeman recommends that a gauze bandage be worn for about five days after surgery so the ears will heal in their new shape and position. Stitches usually are removed in about a week. To help ensure a good result, Dr. Freeman recommends that any patient who undergoes otoplasty avoid situations that may result in accidental trauma to the ear for about four weeks after surgery.

Most of Dr. Freeman’s adult patients feel good enough to return to work in several days; however, many wait until the bandage has been removed to return to work. Dr. Freeman recommends that children go back to school after about a week when the bandage and sutures have been removed. Some people also choose a rhinoplasty for further improvements in facial balance.