What Is Ear Surgery?

Ear reshaping, also known as “otoplasty,” is a customized procedure. Typically, it involves removing some of the cartilage in the back of the ear, causing the structure to lie nicely against the head, no longer protruding. If the ears are shell-shaped, uneven, or have any aesthetic issue that bothers you, it will be surgically corrected to create a natural look to the ear and earlobe.

What can ear surgery do for my look?

Cosmetic ear surgery is performed to correct the shape, projection, or any aesthetic flaw to your ear appearance. The benefits include:

  • If your ears stick out, they are corrected to lie nicely against your head
  • Can correct folded ear tips
  • Can correct shell-shaped ears
  • Can correct longer or misshapen earlobes
  • Safe surgery with excellent outcomes
  • Recovery is reasonably easy to experience
  • No more need to “hide” ears with hairstyles – wear your hair back
  • Corrects earlobes damaged by gauged earrings
Side shot of a woman's face

Your Private Consultation for Ear Surgery

The first step in ear surgery is a private consultation with board-eligible plastic surgeon, Dr. Balinger, offered free of charge. He will meet with you to discuss the surgery, recovery, and the final look he can create with a custom ear surgery. His personalized care, precision surgical techniques, and beautiful outcomes have led to a reputation as being among Houston’s most talented plastic surgeons.

Ear surgery can be performed when the ears have reached full growth, which is typically by age five for children and for any age of adult. Dr. Balinger is a kind, compassionate medical professional who works closely with patients of every age and produces results that are exceptionally aesthetic. Meet with him to discuss what you hope to achieve and get all your questions and concerns answered honestly and fully.

Before Your Ear Surgery

Although the surgery is, in most cases, not complex, it is important that you are in good general health. In the days and weeks before your surgery, eat healthy foods, stay hydrated, and avoid alcoholic drinks. If you smoke, you must stop for several weeks before your surgery. We will help you have a successful journey, from planning your surgery through to the final result, with personalized care and attention, start to finish.

Ear surgery, step by step

The process of performing your surgery moves through a set of three steps:


For your comfort, ear surgery is typically performed with local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. For children, our anesthesiologist will recommend the type of anesthesia that will be most effective and help your child be comfortable during the procedure.

Incision placement

The incisions needed to correct the ear structure are placed either behind the ears or within the outer part of the ear, depending on which corrections needed to be made. Dr. Balinger focuses on creating the smallest incisions possible to ensure minimal scarring. As your ear surgery is customized to resolve your unique aesthetic problems, a custom surgical plan will be crafted specifically for you and the surgery performed with precision.

Completing your ear surgery

At the end of your ear surgery, the incisions are closed with sutures (stitches) to hold the corrected cartilage, skin, and tissue in place, and the ears will be bandaged to ensure they are held in place during healing. 

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