Ear Setback

Adult Otoplasty

Outstanding ears can be corrected in a surgical procedure called an Otoplasty. Dr. Robinson will assess the amount of setback required and tailor the surgical approach accordingly. In children, often suture reshaping of the immature cartilage is sufficient, but in adults, the mature cartilage is less amenable to suture reshaping and sometimes some degree of removal or scoring of the cartilage is necessary.

An incision is made behind the ear where it meets your scalp, and a combination of minimal cartilage removal, permanent buried suture placement, and skin removal is performed. Compression dressings are placed and left clean and dry for a few days postoperatively.

While the results of the operation are sometimes dramatic, mild asymmetries are expected. Both ears are not alike even in the natural state. Frequently, they are not set at the same distance from the scalp and they sit at different positions on the head. Small differences do not defeat successful improvement since both ears are rarely seen at the same time. Every effort is made to obtain the best possible symmetry.

In adults, otoplasty is not covered by the provincial medical insurance plan.



1.5 – 2 hours


General or local with sedation



Side Effects

Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain


Pain, hematoma, infection, asymmetry, persistent numbness, adverse scarring, healing delay, cauliflower ear (otitis externa)


Light duties: 1-2 weeks. More strenuous activity: 4-6 weeks

Final Appearance

6 weeks

Duration Results


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