Most ear surgery procedures in the past were performed to correct congenital problems such as “lop ear,” “cupped ear” and “shell ear,” to set prominent ears back closer to the head, or to reduce the size of large ears. When done for these problems, we recommend the surgery be done at about five years of age, when the ears are mature but before significant teasing occurs. The procedure in children generally lasts from two to three hours and may be performed as an outpatient in the hospital under general anesthesia.
These procedures are also appropriate for adults who did not have access to them as a child. Many of the same techniques are also applicable to problems in adults caused by aging or previous facelift. Some of these problems may include:
We treat most adults in the office as an outpatient using local anesthesia or at the time of revision facelift. Most people can resume normal activities immediately, as the sutures are usually hidden behind or on the back edge of the ear, except where we have repaired split or enlarged holes from pierced earrings.
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The American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides more general information.