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Reshape the Ears with Ear Surgery

The term otoplasty refers to procedures that reshape the ears when they protrude prominently from the head. This is generally due to a congenital condition that is present from birth. Otoplasty can correct the misshapen cartilage to help the ear lie flatter against the head for a more natural, flattering appearance.

Doctor Certifications

Dr. Angelchik was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) in 1996 and successfully completed a rigorous recertification process in 2006 and 2016. He participates in the Maintenance of Certification program through the ABPS. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has also been named to Castle & Connolly’s Top Doctors in America every year since 1996.

Dr. Paul Angelchik is a Phoenix plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Angelchik is well-trained and experienced in all forms of plastic surgery, namely breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation. He has been serving patients for over 20 years. Dr. Angelchik brings his surgical experience, expertise, and quality care to patients in and around Phoenix, Arizona.

What is Otoplasty?

Ear surgery is a lesser-known plastic surgical procedure in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, AZ area that can have a big impact on patients who have struggled with large and protruding ears. This surgical procedure can sometimes be referred to as ‘ear pinning’ because it uses incisions to reduce the size of the inner ear and bring it closer to the head. Otoplasty can sometimes also refer to other ear surgeries that address the earlobes, but this is not necessarily always the case.

Who is a Candidate for Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a unique procedure because it is most commonly performed on children. This is because congenital deformities and overly-large ears usually become apparent around the time that cartilage completes its development, making some children the target of ridicule for large, protruding ears. However, many adult patients also seek out otoplasty for the same reasons. When considering otoplasty surgery for your child, it’s important that they be able to effectively communicate and understand the repercussions of the surgery, as well as consent for the procedure. Their ear cartilage should be no longer developing or changing, since this can reverse results. All candidates should be in general good health and able to undergo surgery. Dr. Angelchik will ask patients to stop smoking or being exposed to smoke for at least a few months in advance of the surgery.

What are My Options for Ear Surgery?

Otoplasty uses a few different incision options that will depend on your unique anatomy and goals. In either case, Dr. Angelchik can successfully conceal scarring within the natural creases of the ears. These incisions include:

Behind-the-ear Incision

This incision is performed at the back of the inner ear where it meets the head. This allows for Dr. Angelchik to reduce cartilage and pull the skin behind the ear together to flatten the ear further against the head.

Inside-the-ear Incision

Sometimes, an incision within the ear can be used to effectively reduce cartilage if protrusion is not a concern. This incision is usually made within the deepest folds of the ear to hide any scarring.

How is Otoplasty Performed?

Otoplasty with Dr. Angelchik

  Dr. Angelchik performs otoplasty surgery on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. Once anesthesia is administered, a predetermined incision is made that allows for the reduction of cartilage and the ‘pinning’ process. Once the new ear shape is achieved, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and bandages are placed. You’ll then be fitted with a special headband that will keep the ears in place during recovery.

Otoplasty Recovery and Results

For the first week following surgery, you will be asked to wear a bulky, protective head dressing, then move to a headband for the next 12 weeks to control and protect the position of the ear. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed following surgery and you can expect the swelling to resolve over the next several months. Most patients require only a few days of downtime, although you may not feel comfortable returning to public within this timeframe. Your results will continue to refine over time as your ears adjust to their new position and contours. In some cases, relapse may occur and would require some revision; however, most patients have an excellent result for the long-term after surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Angelchik is a top, board certified plastic surgeon in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, AZ area who can plan the right otoplasty procedure for your unique anatomy and goals. To schedule consultation and discuss your options, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.


Can I drive after ear surgery?

You will need someone to drive you home after ear surgery. Since the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, you will not be able to safely drive yourself home.

Does otoplasty affect hearing?

Otoplasty does not affect your hearing ability when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Rather, it affects the shape of the outer ear, not the inner anatomy that allows you to hear.

Does otoplasty last forever?

Otoplasty is generally a long-lasting procedure, but your ears may continue to change as you get older. This is typically because of changes in the cartilage of the ear.

How dangerous is ear surgery?

Ear surgery is a relatively low-risk procedure as long as it’s performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon and provided you are a good candidate. Dr. Angelchik will go over the specific risks of your procedure during a consultation.

How long does dizziness last after ear surgery?

Rarely, a patient may have dizziness after ear surgery because of swelling. This typically subsides within a few weeks. If it becomes serious or does not subside, make sure to contact us.

How long does it take to recover from an ear surgery?

Ear surgery recovery typically takes a few weeks until you can resume all normal activities. However, you may be able to return to your normal routine like work or school within a few days.

Is otoplasty a safe procedure?

Otoplasty is safe and effective when you select a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Angelchik can help you make an informed decision and ensure your procedure is a success.

Is otoplasty permanent?

Otoplasty can be relatively permanent because the ears don’t change as much as other areas of the face with age. However, it is still possible for your results to change over time.

What is ear surgery called?

Ear surgery that changes the shape and proportion of the outer ear is called otoplasty. It’s a cosmetic procedure rather than a medical one.

What kind of doctor does ear surgery?

Many kinds of doctors can perform otoplasty, but you will find the best results with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Angelchik can ensure a good cosmetic outcome that remains in proportion with your overall aesthetic.

Will my insurance cover otoplasty?

Otoplasty is not typically covered by insurance since it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. We offer financing options if you have budgeting needs.

How do you sleep after ear surgery?

It’s important to keep your head elevated after ear surgery. We recommend sleeping in a recliner or using at least two pillows - also make sure to avoid sleeping on your side.

How ear surgery is done?

Ear surgery can be performed using different incision options depending on the needs of your specific procedure. To reduce cartilage and bring the ears closer to the head, a behind-the-ear incision can be used. If only cartilage is a concern and not the position, an inside-the-ear incision can be used. Many patients require both incisions to get the best result.

How long after otoplasty can I exercise?

You should plan to avoid exercise for 2-3 weeks, at which point you can return to light physical activity like walking. Dr. Angelchik can give you the best idea of your recovery schedule during a consultation.

How long is ear surgery?

Otoplasty can typically be performed within 2-3 hours and is an outpatient surgery. The length of time will depend on the complexity of the repair.

How long should I wear headband after otoplasty?

You should wear a specialized head dressing as much as possible for the first week and then switch to a headband for the next three months. This will help maintain the new position of the ears as they heal.

How much does ear surgery cost?

The cost of your ear surgery will depend on factors like anesthesia, facilities, surgeon’s fees, and more. Dr. Angelchik will give you a detailed cost estimate during your consultation.

What should I do after ear surgery?

The most important part of your recovery is keeping your head elevated. This will help reduce swelling and discomfort, ensuring a better recovery. Make sure to also follow all instructions from Dr. Angelchik.

Why do my ears stick out?

Most often, protruding ears are simply a trait that develops in the womb. It’s typically caused by an underdeveloped antihelical fold, which in turn causes the outer part of the ear to stick out.

Why would you need ear surgery?

Otoplasty is most often performed for cosmetic reasons. Many people with protruding ears feel self-conscious about them and want to achieve an overall more harmonious look.

Will ears relax after otoplasty?

There may be slight relaxation in the position of your ears after otoplasty is complete, but your ears should not return to their previous state when your procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

The Angelchik Difference

Learn more about our philosophy and follow the patient journey to see what
makes us different and what to expect before, during and after your procedure.

  • Surgeon Consultation

    All patient consultations are conducted with Board Certified surgeon Dr. Angelchik and full medical history is discussed.

  • Custom Procedure

    Recommendations are based on the patient's expressed interests, health history and physical examination.

  • Personalized Experience

    Our staff offers a personalized experience for each patient with an educational and reassuring environment.

  • Highly Rated

    Consistenly on RealSelf, HealthGrades and Google. In Best Doctors and Castle & Connolly's Best Doctors.

Contact Us

If you're interested, please contact us today at 602-375-8888 to schedule your consultation. Our office provides excellent plastic surgery to clients in the Glendale, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise and Peoria areas of Arizona.