Prominent ears



Go to the photo album

Prominent ear correction or otoplasty

Prominent ears or jug ears are congenital, usually caused by an insufficiently formed crease in the cartilage. In some cases there is a larger angle between the head and the ear because the bowl-shaped cavity of the ear is too deep.

Photo album prominent ears correction

1. For whom is this surgery intended?

In my practice the ratio children versus adults is 60/40. For children I recommend to wait with surgery until they are 7 to 8 years old. Before that age the ears will not have fully grown yet. Young children’s cartilage is thin and vulnerable, which makes the operation more difficult: a good reason to postpone the treatment. There is also a physiological reason to wait. Teasing is not a factor at a very young age and besides that it is preferable to enable the child to have a voice in making the decision about the ear correction.

Because plastic surgery is more commonly accepted nowadays, adults increasingly choose to undergo an ear correction. For this group too it is a treatment that is worthwhile.

2. The surgery

The surgery could be performed under local anesthesia, but I prefer general anesthesia. The duration is slightly under one hour and in almost all cases both ears will be operated on in one session. With the correction it is the shape of the cartilage that will be changed. An incision is made in the back of the ear parallel to the rim of the ear. Then an incision is made into the cartilage to thus create a crease.
See the picture on the right hand side. After the operation the crease is clearly visible.
There is no need to remove skin. In case the bowl-shaped cavity of the ear is too deep, a half-moon shaped part of the cartilage will be removed. In some cases the position of the earlobe will be changed or it will be reduced in size.

Go to photo album

3. After surgery

Ear correction

During the first 2 to 3 days you will wear bandages that look like a turban. As soon as the turban has been removed you can take showers and wash your hair with shampoo. After that you will wear a head band: for one week 24 hours a day and then for one week only at night. That is because it is important to protect your ears from damaging when moving over the head pillow. The stiches are dissolvable. I recommend that during the first 4 weeks you refrain from sports whereby possibly the ears will be hit.

After this surgery it might take some time before the scar tissue has subsided. The ears will show a more intense reaction to changes in temperature than usual. In the first year you will have painful ears when it is cold and you will have to cover them earlier than you are used to. Besides that your ears will turn red sooner caused by the increase in blood circulation because of the surgery. All of these reactions are normal and will go in time.

Dr. Erik J.F. Timmenga