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Will an Otoplasty Improve my Hearing?

I know that an otoplasty will make the ears look better, but does this also help improve hearing?

Doctor Answers 37

What did you say? Otoplasty to improve hearing?

No, otoplasty does not help improve hearing.

In some severe cases, the cartilage of the external ear may impinge upon the ear canal, but I have never seen or heard of a complete blockage that otoplasty corrected.


Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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Will an Otoplasty Improve my Hearing?

This is a good question. Otoplasty is a purely aesthetic procedure used mostly to fix protruding pinna and ear lobes, which are both part of the external ear. Hearing, however, is mostly concerned with the inner ear: ear drum, malleus, cochlea, auditory nerve, etc, and is a highly specialized system that works together to allow you to hear things. It is very unlikely that any part of otoplasty, which focuses mostly on the cartilage of the outer ear, would improve your hearing in any way. If you are having an issue with your hearing, go see an ear doctor. He will be better suited at assessing the “mechanics” of the inner ear to see what could be wrong. Otherwise, a good plastic surgeon can help you if you are more concerned with just the aesthetic aspects of the outer ear.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Otoplasties don't improve hearing

An otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of your ears. Typically it is done for ears that protrude too far from the head. This would have no bearing on hearing.

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An otoplasty won't improve hearing. But let's make sure...

An otoplasty won't improve hearing. But let's make sure we're talking about the right operation:

  • Otoplasty is an operation to improve the appearance of prominent ears.
  • Auricular reconstruction is an operation for correcting microtia, a condition where the ear is congenitally absent or underdeveloped. This operation is a multi-stage procedure and often also improves hearing (mainly by surgery directed to the ear canal and middle ear, but also a little bit from creation of a pinna--the part of the ear that we see).

David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

A true otoplasty will not effect your hearing. Otoplasty...

A true otoplasty will not effect your hearing. Otoplasty refers to the cosmetic changing of the external ear that you can see. If you should have a blockage of the ear canal then a surgery can be performed to open the ear canal which could improve your hearing - but this operation is not an otoplasty.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Otoplasty Does Not Change Ability to Hear

Problems with hearing can occur for a variety of reasons.  Changes in the shape of the external ear would not be expected to impact any of these problems.  For this reason, the procedure is viewed as cosmetic and not functional in nature.  It would therefore not change someone’s ability to hear.

Otoplasty and Hearing

No, otoplasty is an aesthetic procedure intended to correct protruding ears.  It is not intended to correct hearing.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Never

Otoplasties aim is to improve ear aesthetics and shape.

It will never improve patients hearing,

Enrique Etxeberria, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Otoplasty and hearing

An otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of your ears.  It has no effect on your hearing.  

Laurence Weider, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Otoplasty Improves Appearance of Ear But Not Hearing

Surgey to change the shape of the external ear or Otoplasty has no effect on the hearing. Typicaly some of the external folds of the ear are reshaped or the base of the ear is brought closer to the head by removing some of the overly prominent cartilage. This has no significant effect on the hearing mechanism of the middle or inner ear.
 

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.