Otoplasty (Ear Surgery) in Sydney

Otoplasty (Ear Pinning Surgery) With Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Ellis Choy

Being noticed for your looks can be an empowering confidence boost, but when prominent ears draw unwanted attention, they can be a source of deep anxiety and self-consciousness.

Children with large or protruding ears may be taunted by peers and struggle to develop a healthy self-image. For adults, prominent ears can be a barrier to feeling attractive, building self-esteem or feeling comfortable in social and professional settings. Ear surgery, medically called otoplasty, can benefit children and adults alike who are struggling with these concerns.

Dr Ellis Choy pairs his professional credentials and rigorous ethics with a personalised approach to patient care and a keen eye for aesthetics. He is passionate not only about offering the latest otoplasty techniques but also seeks to create harmony and a naturally balanced look for his patients. Enquire here to request more information or schedule a consultation.


The word otoplasty comes from Ancient Greek. Literally, it means “ear changing”, and for someone whose self-esteem is diminished due to prominent ears, it can also be life-changing. Cosmetic ear surgery can quickly refine the position, angle or shape of the ears, creating a more appealing look and enhancing self-confidence. The most common procedure, known as ear pinning, is to correct ears which stick out by setting them back closer to the head.

Specialised otoplasty techniques are used to improve abnormalities present at birth, correct deformities caused by trauma or repair the effects of a previous ear surgery that did not provide the anticipated results.

The exact method of ear surgery depends on the origin of the problem. Therefore, otoplasty needs to be individualised, and the plastic surgeon must blend aesthetic sensibility with an advanced level of surgical precision to provide optimal results. As an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Choy is attuned to the unique needs and expectations of his otoplasty patients and performs a thorough assessment before recommending a treatment approach.


The ear is a complex piece of anatomy that can take many paths during development. This is the reason we see such vast variance in the shape and size of so-called “normal ears”, as well as the numerous variations we consider less cosmetically ideal.

Some of the most common concerns of Dr Choy’s Sydney ear surgery patients include:

  • Protruding ears
  • Oversized ears
  • Large, malformed or stretched earlobes
  • Excessively small ears
  • Creases or volume loss in the earlobes
  • Constricted ears (cupped ears, lop ears)
  • Stahl’s ear deformity
  • Disparities in the size or shape of the left and right ears
  • Revision of a previous ear surgery

The goal of every otoplasty is to give the ears a natural shape with normal size and projection while restoring balance to the ears and face. Dr Choy will create his surgical plan based upon the unique anatomy of the patient’s ears and the goals for change.


For a subset of patients concerned about ageing ears, a nonsurgical approach may be possible. Injectable fillers, which are primarily used to smooth unwanted lines and contour the face, can also be used to conceal wrinkles in the ears and restore volume to the lobes. Treatment sessions are quick and comfortable, with no downtime.

The results of dermal fillers last longer when used for ear rejuvenation because there is no dynamic muscle movement in the ears, as there is in the face. Once results do begin to fade, the procedure can be performed again.


Protruding ears can be a problem from an early age. Young children may be teased about their appearance at school, leading to difficulty socialising and developing self-esteem. Due to the profound and lasting impact these experiences can have, otoplasty is one of the few cosmetic operations performed on children. Surgical correction for a child may be considered so long as the patient’s ears are sufficiently developed. Children aged 5 or older are generally candidates for otoplasty.

For children and adults alike, the ideal ear surgery patient is healthy and has no serious illness or medical condition that could compromise healing. Adult patients should not smoke or should be willing to quit for a recommended period. It is critical to have a positive outlook while maintaining realistic expectations for what can be achieved with otoplasty.


Dr Choy performs otoplasty with the patient under either local or general anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia used during surgery depends on the patient’s age, the extent of correction and, in the case of adult patients, personal preference.

The specific details of the procedure are unique to the patient’s concerns and anatomy. The basic steps of ear surgery are as follows:

  • Step One — anaesthesia is administered
  • Step Two — incisions are made, generally on the back surface of the ear
  • Step Three — the cartilage is reshaped and/or repositioned
  • Step Four — internal sutures are used to secure the cartilage into its new position
  • Step Five — the incision is closed with external sutures

At the conclusion of the procedure, Dr Choy thoroughly cleans the ear area and puts a protective dressing into place.


There is minimal downtime for both adults and children after otoplasty. Some post-procedure discomfort is normal and can be controlled with oral pain medication. A dressing, followed by a soft headband, is worn to keep the ears protected and secure. Children can typically return to school in one week and adults can return to work in the same time frame. Normal exercise may be resumed in two weeks and sports activities in three weeks.

Special post-operative care instructions may be recommended for children who are prone to injury while at school or during playtime.


Improvements in the projection and contour of the ears are appreciable immediately following surgery. The swelling that occurs after surgery is typically minor, and the majority of it resolves by four weeks after surgery. As the swelling fades, the appearance of the ear continues to improve and the contours look even more refined. The results are permanent in most cases.

Otoplasty incisions are made behind the ears whenever possible, so the resulting scars are hidden from view. When incisions on the front of the ears are required, they are placed within the natural folds to minimise visibility. Scars are usually difficult to see once healed fully.

Click here to view our otoplasty before and after photos


Correction of even minor irregularities in the projection, shape, symmetry or size of the ears can have a tremendous impact on a patient’s appearance and self-esteem. Dr Ellis Choy has demonstrated the highest levels of training as a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is committed to providing natural-looking results that enhance his patients’ quality of life as well as their appearance.

To learn more about otoplasty, either for yourself or your child, please call our Sydney plastic surgery clinic on 02 8962 9388, or submit your request via our contact form.