About Those Ears

Our ears are something we use for decorating, kind of like a Christmas tree that doesn’t need a stand. We adorn our ears with earrings to accentuate our features.

But what if the ears are doing the accentuating all by themselves? And what if that accentuating means protruding away from the head?

If you’re a kid in school, you’ll probably hear things like “satellite dish ears” or “Dumbo” references, all done in that way kids can be so kind to one another. If you’re an adult and your parents didn’t opt to have your ears pinned, you’re not likely to get teased, but you notice your ears just the same. And odds are you try and hide them under your hair or a hat as often as possible.

Otoplasty, the clinical term for ear surgery, with Dr. Michelle Cabret-Carlotti and Dr. Albert Carlotti can change all of that. It’s a satisfying surgery that can be done anytime, from age 5-6 to any age after that.

What are the problems with the ears?


Ear surgery can surely change a child’s life, but the same can hold true to adults. If you’ve had to deal with slights when you were young, but your family decided against surgery, there’s no reason you can’t take care of your ears now. Drs. Carlotti can reshape overly large or misshapen ears. They can move them closer to the head if they protrude too much. And they can balance ears that aren’t proportional. The goal is to bring the ears into proportion with the rest of the face and head.

What is otoplasty like?

In most cases, we perform our otoplasty procedures in our Lakeway or Scottsdale offices, usually under local anesthesia, although general anesthesia may be used in more involved procedures. What would be more involved? Rebuilding or a dramatic reshaping of the ears would need more time and could merit general anesthesia. The procedure can take up to two hours. Incisions are made on the backside of the ear and alterations are made to the ear cartilage to reshape the ear. If the ears are protruding, we simply remove some cartilage on the back of the ears and bring them closer to the head.


After otoplasty, patients wear a protective splint for two to three days and a headband for three weeks to allow the ears to heal. There will be pain and some swelling for the first two days, but that should pass. This isn’t an area that swells a great deal. Normal activities can begin in around one week.

If your child has protruding or “attention grabbing” ears, now is the time to address them. Call us at Austin Cosmetic Surgery in our Lakeway office, (512) 688-8000, or our Scottsdale office, (480) 947-7700, to schedule a consultation for your child or yourself.

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