Prominent ears can affect a person's self-image. Even adults with protruding ears may suffer from severe embarrassment, in some cases to such an extent that it affects their everyday lives - they may not ever wear helmets or other headgear and might find their focus on other things distracted by concern about their appearance.

 Prominent Ear Before Otoplasty     7th Day After Otoplasty

 

What causes an ear to be prominent?

Angle

- Typically, the outer ear sticks out from the side of the head at an angle of about 20 to 35 degrees. If the angle is more than 35 degrees, they will appear to "stick out".

 

Overdevelopment of the cartilage

- If the pinna has too much cartilage, there is a greater chance it will be prominent (protruding ear).

 

Underdevelopment of the cartilage

- The ridge of cartilage at the top of the ear does not fold properly during development. The outer edge of the ear does not fold in toward the head, and instead sticks outwards.

 

Injury

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- Prominent ears can also be the result of an injury to the ears.


Remodeling of the cartilage
Otoplasty. Otoplastic techniques are used to correct, reconstruct, or replace a deformed, defective, or a missing ear (pinna). The cartilage is remodeled. For best results, an otoplasty should be carried out after the ears have reached their full size. Most children's ears will be almost full size by the time they are five years old. The surgery can create the missing folds and position the ear closer to the head.

Recovery
The patient can return to school or work within a week of the surgical procedure. Regular activity and exercise can restart within two weeks. Doctors urge patients to avoid any activities that could cause trauma or injury to the ears during the recovery period. Physical contact sports (judo, rugby, football...) should be avoided for at least three months. Swimming should be avoided for up to eight weeks after surgery.

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