Ear surgery

Protruding ears - Otoplasty


The surgical correction of the outer ear can be considered for an adult patient as well as a child. The result can have a direct impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem.

Otoplasty Before-After preview

Common malformations or aesthetic challenges of the ear

The human ear can show a broad range of shapes and sizes but the following common cases are often cited as reasons for seeking surgical adjustment.

Relatively large, misshapen or protruding ears

This ranks as the most common reason for which a patient seeks an aesthetic surgical solution. The shape of the auricle and thus, its visual relationship to the head, can be corrected and bring back the desired aesthetic harmony.

Abnormally large ear lobes, or a damaged or split ear lobe

In everyday life, or following a mishap or the wearing of large or heavy earrings, a deformation or tear in a person’s ear lobe(s) can occur. Through a relatively straightforward procedure done under local anaesthesia, a correction in size of a person’s ear lobe(s) or a repair can be easily performed. Visual harmony is thus returned.

Twisted or misshapen ear(s)

In certain individuals, the auricle of the ear is twisted forward, in a way that sometimes breaks the overall visual harmony of a person’s head. In such cases, surgery can be used to reshape the cartilage of the ear and correct the appearance.


In the case of protruding or misshapen ears, 1-2 hours of surgery is required, for both adults and children. The operation is usually performed under local anaesthesia or, in rare cases, under general anaesthesia. It is done through an incision in the fold behind the ear, and aims to adjust the structure and shape of the cartilage responsible for giving the ear its outer appearance. The incision is then finely sutured as to leave the smallest possible scar, well hidden in the fold behind the patient’s ear. A special padded bandage is then placed around the head, to allow the result to set for a few days.

Post-operative care

After two days, the head bandage is removed, the patient’s hair is washed and the wound is inspected to ensure that healing is correctly underway. Stitches are removed two weeks after the operation and the patient is allowed a return to light, risk-free sporting activity. As far as more intensive activities are concerned, such as team sports or martial arts, patience is recommended but if in doubt, please check with Dr. Knutti directly to ensure that proper healing will not be affected.

Frequently-asked questions

Will scars be visible after an ear-correction procedure?

Since the scar is usually located directly in the fold behind the patient’s ear, it becomes almost entirely invisible, once healed.

Can I wear glasses after an ear-correction operation?

As the side-pieces of most eyeglasses rest on the upper part of the auricle, glasses can often be worn immediately after the operation, without discomfort. Dr. Knutti will let you know if, in your case, he recommends a different course of action.

What risks are associated with an ear-correction (otoplasty) operation?

If you are in good health, have carefully selected your aesthetic surgeon, and strictly follow his recommendations with utmost care, the risks are minimal. Among these risks, in rare cases:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • unattractive scar
  • asymmetrical result
  • deformation of the cartilage

Is a person’s sense of hearing affected by an ear-correction operation?

The aesthetic surgical adjustment of protruding or misshapen ears involves only the outer ear. This part has only a minor influence on the quality of one’s hearing. An aesthetic surgeon with a great deal of experience such as Dr. Knutti, has the knowledge needed to avoid complications of this type.

How long will it take for the final result to be noticeable?

A certain amount of swelling is possible for up to four months but most patients see the final result after two or three months. In most cases, the improvement is clearly visible after just a few days.

Does the convalescent patient require special care after the operation?

Although the procedure is normally done under simple local anaesthesia, it is recommended that the patient be accompanied for the return home and for the first few days after surgery. A patient must always avoid excessive strain or effort after an operation.

How much does an otoplasty operation cost?

Each case is unique, as possible malformations can vary widely. Prices usually fall between CHF 3800.- and CHF 4500.-