Ear Surgery


Ears that appear to stick out or are overly large can be helped by ear surgery.



An incision is made in the back of the ear so cartilage can be sculpted or folded. Stitches are used to close the incision and help maintain the new shape.



Creating a fold in the cartilage makes the ear lie flatter against the head and appear more normal.

Otoplasty and Earlobe Repair

Plastic surgeons frequently perform ear surgery, which includes deformity repair and earlobe repair. If your ears are injured or exhibit a cosmetic defect, Dr. Alfaro can perform one of these surgeries for you. Most ear surgeries are very simple and leave minimal or no scarring.

What to Expect During Ear Surgery

What is it? Repair of torn earlobe, or surgery to restore normal appearance to protruding, cupped, or lopped ears. Usually simple operations performed using local anesthetic.
Inpatient / Outpatient Outpatient
Surgery time: 2 to 3 hours
Recovery time: 7 days

How Ear Surgery Works


Otoplasty is a common procedure that pins back protruding ears. Otoplasty can be performed for adults, but is typically done for children. The procedure can be done as soon as the ears are fully developed.

During otoplasty, Dr. Alfaro will make careful incisions in the natural skin folds behind your ears. This allows access to the cartilage of your ear. The doctor is then able to remove a conservative amount of cartilage and mold the remaining cartilage to create a normalized ear position. He will then close the incisions with sutures and cover them with a bandage.

Earlobe Repair

Earlobe repair is performed after an injury to the earlobe, which is typically caused by earrings. The procedure is quick, well-tolerated and can be completed in one hour or less. First, the ears are cleansed and local anesthesia is administered. To repair the earlobe, Dr. Alfaro performs small incisions on each side of the injury, creating a clean edge. These incisions will then be sutured together and a bandage will be applied.

Ear Surgery FAQ

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a procedure that can correct a defect in the ear that is present at birth-it can become apparent with development. Otoplasty can also treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

What can otoplasty treat?

  • Overly large ears - a rare condition called macrotia
  • Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides in varying degrees - not associated with hearing loss
  • Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery

Who's a candidate for otoplasty?

Children who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • healthy, without a life-threatening illness or untreated chronic ear infections
  • generally 5 years old, or when a child's ear cartilage is stable enough for correction
  • cooperative and follow instructions well
  • able to communicate their feelings and do not voice objections when surgery is discussed

Teenagers and adults who are good candidates for ear surgery are:

  • healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • non-smokers
  • individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for ear surgery

What are the risks of ear surgery?

Some of the risks include hematoma, blood clots, asymmetry, infection, poor healing, change in skin sensation, skin contour irregularities, skin discoloration/swelling, anesthesia risks, scarring allergies to materials, pain, and need for revision surgery.

What should I know about recovery from ear surgery?

Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with pain medication. There may be an itchy feeling under bandages. It is essential that bandages remain intact and are not removed, for any reason. Failure to do so may result in loss of some of the correction and may require a secondary surgery.

Scheduling Your Ear Surgery in Tucson

If you are ready to discuss ear surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon, we encourage you to call the office of Dr. Armando Alfaro in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Alfaro can answer your questions and discuss the details of this procedure. Call our office at 520-323-9720 to schedule a consultation.