It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but ears that are too large, too small, stick out, or are somehow odd can lower your confidence and lead to teasing. Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty or ear reshaping, can adjust the size, position, proportion, and symmetry of the ears to improve your overall appearance and boost your self-image. At La Jolla Plastic Surgery in San Diego, CA triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo performs ear surgery for patients of all ages, from young children to teenagers and adults. Ear surgery should be performed after the ears reach their full size, which usually happens around age 6, to avoid changes to the results. Ear surgery can improve the shape and size of the ears, pin back ears that stick out, repair trauma to the ear, and heal stretched or torn earlobes. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chaffoo to learn more about ear surgery and how it can help you or your child.
"I truly had the best experience with La Jolla Skin! I was referred here by a friend who received micro needling and raved about how amazing her skin looked and felt after. This friend of mine recently moved to La Jolla from Beverly Hills and is definitely picky when it comes to all things beauty, so I completely trusted her recommendation. I had been wanting to do something more than just your standard facial to help the texture and appearance of my skin... acne scarring, pigmentation from the sun, large pores. I called to schedule my appointment and spoke with Jennifer who was SO sweet and helpful. When I went in for my appointment I have to admit I was a little nervous, but after consulting with Tracy I felt much more at ease. Nancy was the RN that preformed the micro needling and she too was amazing! She calmed my nerves and was just so so great. After having numbing cream on 30 mins prior to the micro needling I literally felt no pain or discomfort during the service. The machine is loud which sounds scary, but honestly it's nothing. My experience here was so wonderful and I look forward to continuing treatments with them. Highly recommend!!"- S.B. / Yelp / Sep 26, 2016
"Dr. Chaffoo is a great surgeon and is kind, gentle, experienced and has a great bedside manner. His staff (Nancy and Tracy) are equally as attentive and thorough. I felt safe and confident. I had my breast implants removed and a lift and a fat transfer to balance them. He did a great job. I am very happy with the results. I would recommend him to anyone."- S.E. / Yelp / Jul 25, 2017
"I just love coming here! Everyone that works here is not only extremely talented, but also very kind and welcoming. I've had microneedling, cool sculpting, vbeam, and a hydrafacial....I'm beyond happy with the results from each of these procedures! This whole team really takes time to listen to all of your questions and concerns, and patiently responds to each and every one. I've never felt like I was left feeling confused about anything, or that I had wasted my money on a service. I'm a client for life! Thank you all for being so awesome, I'd give you 6 stars if I could!"- N.R. / Yelp / Jul 17, 2017
"Very Natural Breast Augmentation, Wonderful Experience - Dr. Chaffoo is the utmost professional. I had a great experience with him from the start to finish of my surgery process, and continue to have a good experience. He is very attentive and caring, and I ended up with fabulous results from my surgery. I also appreciate that Dr. Chaffoo has me come in once per year for a check up, which gives me added peace of mind."- K. / RealSelf / Jul 11, 2017
"Great new experience - I went to La Jolla Plastic Surgery for Coolsculpting. It was a new experience for me but Dr. Chaffoo and his assistant Robert walked me through it and made sure I was comfortable through it all. I have already recommended them to several friends and I'm sure I'll be back soon. Thanks!"- S. / RealSelf / Jun 22, 2017
Dr. Chaffoo likes to spend a lot of time with his patient (and the parents of younger patients) to discuss concerns and expectations before creating a surgical plan for ear correction. During your consultation, Dr. Chaffoo will discuss:
- Anesthesia options
- The patient's goals and concerns
- Surgical technique and where incisions will be made
- What will happen before and after the procedure
- Aftercare and recovery requirements and suggestions
- Potential risks and signs to watch for during recovery
Ear surgery may be performed with the patient under general or local anesthesia, based on the extent of the procedure and the comfort of the patient. Depending on the corrections that are being performed during your ear surgery, the incisions may be made behind or inside the ear, which will make the surgical scars difficult to detect after they have healed. Once the incisions are made, Dr. Chaffoo may remove and/or shape the ear cartilage to make the desired improvements. Dr. Chaffoo will explain your specific surgical technique during your consultation after he determines your goals.
Patients should be taken home by a responsible adult and younger patients especially should be watched closely for the first 24 hours after surgery to check for signs of infection or complications (a fever over 101° F, dizziness, nausea, excessive bleeding). To improve healing and minimize discomfort, the patient should keep their head elevated and avoid putting pressure on the ear. The ears should be kept clean and dry to minimize the risk of infection. Most patients can return to their normal lives in 1 week.
The results of ear surgery are permanent unless you experience a trauma to the ear after your surgery. The final results of your ear surgery are usually visible about 2 weeks after surgery, but some small changes can still occur for up to 1 year after surgery.
Ear surgery usually costs around $5,000, but this depends on what is being done to correct the ears. While ear surgery for cosmetic reasons is not covered by health insurance, the repair of a genetic defect or injury may be covered. The front office at La Jolla Plastic Surgery can help you communicate with your health insurance company or explain payment and medical financing options.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $5,000
- Recovery Time
- 1 Week
- Average Procedure Time
- Post-op Follow-up
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ear Surgery FAQs
Ear surgery can correct many problems with the size, shape, or position of the ears, including:
- Cauliflower or elf ear
- Ear deformities caused by injury or genetics
- Ears that are disproportionate to the head
- Ears that stick out from the head
- Overly large or small ears
- Torn or stretched earlobes
- Uneven or odd ear placement
Studies show that 70% of infant ear deformities do not resolve on their own. Fortunately, the EarWell™ Infant Ear Correction System can help. This nonsurgical, pain-free technique reshapes a baby's ears using soft ear cradles. Covered by most insurance, EarWell eliminates the need for corrective ear surgery. Ask Dr. Chaffoo about your options during your initial consultation.
Ear surgery for younger patients is performed alone since other plastic surgeries should not be performed before a person is done growing and developing. Ear surgery for adults may be combined with another facial surgery, such as rhinoplasty, if they have other cosmetic concerns and goals.
Potential Surgical Risks?
Like all surgical procedures, ear surgery does have some potential complications including:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Loss of sensation in and around the ears