Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery with Dr. Walter Erhardt in Albany, Georgia

Those born with overly prominent or protruding ears are often the target of teasing and cruel jokes. Ear surgery is a cosmetic procedure used to enhance the appearance of the ears and to prevent the possibility of psychological damage from teasing or poor self-image.

Medically referred to as otoplasty, ear surgery can be used to enhance the appearance of the external ear, earlobe shape, and projection or to reconstruct the ears following trauma, surgery or birth deformities.

Benefits of Ear Surgery

  • Adults and children who feel self-conscious about the size or shape of one or both of their ears may benefit significantly from ear surgery.
  • Ear surgery is typically elected to correct protruding ears, but can also be used to modify overly large ears, known as macrotia, or reconstruct the ears following trauma.
  • If you're unhappy with the results of a previous corrective surgery, a second revisionary ear surgery may be elected to address your dissatisfaction.

Candidates for ear surgery should be healthy and have fully developed ears, which usually occurs around 5-6 years of age. The best candidates are non-smokers who are in good health and possess realistic expectations.


Otoplasty is often recommended early in life while the patient is still a child, to correct birth defects such as Macrotia. This is because the cartilage is still young and stable enough to be corrected. The ideal time for surgery is about five years of age.

How Ear Surgery Works

Your consultation: During your consultation, it's important to be honest and upfront about your medical history, cosmetic expectations and recovery goals. Your consultation will begin with a physical exam, followed by an in-depth discussion of ear surgery. You will also have the opportunity to view Dr. Erhardt's gallery of before and after patient photos.

Surgery: Ear surgery is an outpatient procedure typically performed in 1-3 hours. General anesthesia or intravenous sedation will be administered prior to surgery. The nature of ear surgery varies, depending on the specific problems requiring correction. During ear angle adjustment, incisions are concealed behind the ear. Cartilage and tissue are removed and the ear position is adjusted. Permanent sutures will then be placed to maintain the new position of the ears.

Healing time: When you wake up from surgery, you may experience some swelling, pain and bruising. You will need to wear a large compression bandage around your head for the first week of recovery. Recovery times vary, but most patients are able to resume work and school routines within a week. Children should opt out of physical education classes and contact sports for at least three weeks.

Expected Results: The goal of ear surgery is to enhance the natural proportions of the face and restore a sense of facial balance. Following a full recovery, your ears will appear symmetrical with one another and will emerge from your head at a more normal angle, without giving your ears a pinned-back appearance. Ear surgery will provide permanent improvement and in most cases, only one procedure is necessary to achieve optimal results.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Erhardt

If you're ready to learn more about ear surgery call 229-432-9325 to inquire about a consultation with Dr. Erhardt. Our plastic surgery practice is located at 506 Fourth Avenue, Albany, GA 31701.