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Otoplasty, large ears surgery

English subtitled video

Plastic surgery to repair large ears is an operation that consists of shaping the cartilage of the ears and the excess skin until the desired appearance and size is achieved. It is a fairly simple and quick operation, it is not very complicated, and the risk is very low.

Very often children come to us, accompanied by their parents, because they are unhappy with their physical appearance and want to find a solution as soon as possible, as the change in the physiognomy of the face is quite large. It is an intervention whose result is very satisfactory for the patient.

Clínica Sanza in Barcelona is a reference centre for otoplasty surgery.


At Clínica Sanza we rely on the Sagrat Cor Hospital, part of the Quirónsalud group, to perform our surgical procedures.
Its prestige, facilities, medical and healthcare staff, as well as its technology are a guarantee.


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People with low self-esteem due to large ears.

Especially recommended at an early age, when the child has self-esteem issues or requests the intervention.


It is a congenital malformation that, while not affecting the function of the ear, it is an aesthetic problem that may have social stigmas, as it negatively affects the patient’s self-image, especially in children.

The prominent ears may have different shapes and degrees of distortion that begin to manifest at 6 or 7 years of age, when other bodily features are not yet developed such as the nose, jaw, cranial size, etc.

That is why we advise to intervene at an early age, when the child has complexes or requests it.

We performe the operation with an incision in the back of the ear, through which the cartilage is molded until the desired aesthetic appearance, both at the level of the curvature (ears in handle), and of projection (prominent ears).

The remaining scar is a very thin line perfectly camouflaged in the retroauricular fold and is virtually invisible, even if the hair is short or the hair is collected.


  • From 1 to 2 hours.



  • Evaluation of the area to determine the appropriateness of the treatment.
  • Follow specific guidelines determined by the doctor.
  • Blood, cardiac and respiratory status if needed.


  • Local or sedation on children.


  • Ambulatory


  • Bandage covering both heads.
  • Removing the bandage at 24 hours.
  • Stich removal between 7 and 10 days.
  • Medication if required.
  • Mandatory revisions after a few days, a few weeks and a few months, according to prescription.


  • Once the bandage is removed, normal life except physical exercise.
  • At 3 weeks, you can already practice physical exercise.
  • Avoid direct exposure of the wound to the sun during this time.


  • Very natural and satisfactory.
  • Psychological improvement (better self-esteem).


  • Simple intervention.


  • Low.
  • Risks of this intervention: possible recurrence that needs a retouch if the detaches a little.
  • Risks of interventions: haemorrhage, infection, impaired healing.


Before After
Before After
Before After
Before After

Whatever your case may be, do not hesitate in contacting us.

Clínica Sanza in Barcelona, Spain, quality service

Frequently asked questions about large ears surgery

How is the normal size and what is the natural separation of the ears?

The size of the ear is on average 6cms high and 3.5cms wide, with a maximum separation of 2cms between the auricular cartilage and the head (auriculocephalic angle between about 20-30º). Independently everything varies according to related aspects such as head measurements and the size of other facial features, age, sex and height.

What is otoplasty of protruding ears?

Otoplasty of prominent ears, is the surgery that aims to correct the position of prominent or detached ears due to the absence of the natural folds of the auricular cartilages (antihelix) or the increased projection of one of them (auricular shell). Also to reduce the length when they are very long.

Who are the candidates?

The candidates are those patients who wish to improve prominent ears, in loops or in blowpipe, that have an auriculo-cephalic angle greater than 30º and/or that are projected more than 2 cm between the cartilage of the ear and the head. Everything depends on the individualization of each patient and the affectation that this cosmetic deformity causes.

What is the ideal age to correct it?

The most advisable age for any ears surgery is from the time when the child has practically reached the final size of the ears, that is at school age, more or less between 7 or 8 years. Although the assessment has to be individual, that is to say, it may be convenient to bring forward the operation when the child shows problems with his or her classmates at school. Surgery can also be performed on adults, as it is a frequent cause in the consultation for complexes brought from childhood.

Is surgery to correct protruding or separated ears complicated?

It is very simple and you can change the position, shape and size. Its treatment will depend on the alterations that the patient presents. It’s done with local anesthesia and a little sedation on an outpatient basis.

How long does the otoplasty operation take?

1h30 minutes approximately.   Can it alter the normal function of hearing? The normal function of hearing is independent of the aesthetics of the ear. The ear is internal, intracranial bones inside the eardrum and is never altered in an otoplasty.

Are there any visible scars?

The scar to correct prominent ears is hidden in the posterior groove, so it is not visible.

How is the procedure, what type of anesthesia is used?

The procedure is performed in the operating room with local anesthesia, with or without sedation, and on an outpatient basis, that is, no hospitalization is required.

What are the most common complications?

Like any surgical procedure there are risks, but they are very rare and infrequent. The most frequent is bruising, which can appear on the first 24 hours and easily solved. The other complication can be infection so we always indicate antibiotics to prevent it. In some cases there is a relapse, i.e. an ear unfolds a little. If this happens, it may require some touch-up if necessary after passing the inflammation.

Is the postoperative period very painful and complicated?

The post-operative period during the first 24 hours is not very painful, it is comparable to the discomfort caused by falling asleep for a while on the ear, we place a bandage that we remove the day after the intervention and then we place an elastic cloth bandana for the next 15 days just to sleep. Recovery is quick, and the patient can resume normal activities almost 4 days after surgery.


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