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Otoplasty/Ear Surgery Overview

If you have ears that stick out too much or have an unattractive shape, you can quickly become very self-conscious about your appearance. Despite wearing hats and beanies or growing long hair, you still feel like the first thing anyone notices when they meet you are your ears.

  • Review from L. B.
  • Source: Google
  • Apr 16, 2019
Dr. Lapuerta and his staff are the best out there! Loved the whole experience. Everything was explained clearly and they answered any questions I had. I feel much more confident in myself! Thank you!

For those unhappy with the appearance of your ears, ear plastic surgery may be able to help. Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning surgery, is an incredible procedure that can resolve many aesthetic imperfections related to the ears. Dr. Leo Lapuerta, a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, performs ear surgery in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, Texas, giving individuals the confidence to show their ears from all angles.

What Is Otoplasty Ear Plastic Surgery?

Otoplasty (cosmetic ear surgery) is used to set a patient’s ears closer to the head or to reduce the ear size. The otoplasty procedure can be performed on adults, as well as children between the ages of 7 and 14. During the procedure, Dr. Lapuerta makes an incision at the back of the patient’s ear in order to expose the ear’s cartilage. The cartilage can then be removed or sculpted so that it provides a natural-looking fold for the ear. Ear surgery can also reshape the ears, fixing any abnormalities in order to restore the patient’s self-confidence.

Who Is a Good Ear Surgery Candidate?

Ear plastic surgery is perfect for anyone who is unhappy with the appearance of their ears, and this unhappiness has led to lower self-esteem. The procedure is not just limited to adults; children must be at least 7 years old, since that is the age where ears are fully formed and stop growing.

In addition to being at least 7 years old, patients need to be in good overall physical health. Patients should also have a thorough understanding of what the procedure entails and realistic expectations regarding the results of their ear surgery. During an ear surgery consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will answer any questions the patient has, as well as make sure they understand every phase of the procedure.

Otoplasty Surgical Technique

The technique used during ear surgery will depend on the abnormality. First, there may be an insufficient amount of ear cartilage to support the fold of the ear or too much cartilage where the ear canal starts. Both issues will cause the ear to protrude outward, which will require ear pinning surgery to correct. In some cases, the ears may appear too large. Regardless of the condition, the cartilage will usually be addressed and either removed or reshaped. Then, the cartilage will be secured with sutures into a new position closer to the head. The incision is generally placed within the natural folds of the ear so scarring is not an issue.

What to Expect Before Ear Plastic Surgery

All otoplasty procedures are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at Dr. Lapuerta’s on-site accredited surgical facility. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete. After surgery, patients will be sent home with their heads wrapped in a compression bandage, which will later be replaced with lighter bandaging.

What to Expect After Ear Plastic Surgery

Initially, patients will feel discomfort if they attempt to move their ears. This will subside in a few days, but patients may be prescribed medication to help manage the pain. In addition to some discomfort, patients can also expect their ears to swell, ache, and appear red for one to two weeks following surgery. During this time, younger patients will need to be monitored so they do not touch or play with their ears during the healing process, and older patients should refrain from touching their ears. 

Patients can expect to return to work a few days after surgery. However, while patients can return to their everyday life only a couple of days after the procedure, they are advised to avoid vigorous exercise for up to six weeks following surgery.

Expected Otoplasty Cost

The average cost for an otoplasty will vary depending on the complexity of the surgical case. However, the national average for this surgery ranges between $3,000-$5,000. Unfortunately, in almost all cases, otoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore is not covered by insurance.

However, Dr. Lapuerta is proud to offer flexible financing plans for his patients, giving them an affordable way to pay for cosmetic plastic surgery. Instead of having to come up with a lump sum of cash, our financing options allow patients to pay for any procedure in monthly payments. If the otoplasty cost is a little outside of your budget right now, ask us about our financing options to make the procedure affordable for you today.

Schedule an Ear Surgery Consultation with Dr. Lapuerta

If you are self-conscious about the appearance of your ears and are looking for a permanent solution, ear plastic surgery might be the answer. This simple, straightforward procedure can drastically alter the appearance of your ears, correcting any perceived imperfections so you can be confident in your appearance.

Dr. Lapuerta is an ear surgery expert, performing otoplasty in Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas, for over two decades. Patients consistently rave about Dr. Lapuerta, leaving glowing reviews and testimonials about his amazing work. What sets Dr. Lapuerta apart is his commitment to clearly communicating with his patients in a relatable, down-to-earth fashion. Instead of answering your questions with medical jargon, Dr. Lapuerta makes sure patients understand exactly what to expect.

If you are interested in learning more about ear plastic surgery or would like to schedule an otoplasty consultation, contact Dr. Lapuerta today.


  • Recovery Time
  • 1-2 Weeks
  • Average Procedure Time
  • 2 Hours
  • Post-op Follow-up
  • 1 Week
  • Procedure Recovery Location
  • Outpatient


The results following an otoplasty procedure are long lasting. However, just like any other cosmetic procedure, aging and gravity may cause increased laxity. This could eventually affect the position of the ears. For the most part, the improvements made with this surgery are still significant.
Children between the ages of 4-6 are considered within the ideal range for this surgery. From an anatomical standpoint, the cartilage is still soft and will be easier to remold and manipulate. From a psychological standpoint, having this surgery before starting elementary school can help avoid teasing and ridicule from classmates.
In the majority of cases, both ears are affected. Therefore, surgery is performed on both ears. However, there may sometimes be an abnormality in just one ear. If this is the case, surgery will be performed on the affected ear, which will be made to match the opposing ear.
Leo Lapuerta Plastic Surgery