Reverse Otoplasty for Hearing Improvement?

When I pull my ears slightly away from my head (they lay very flat), my hearing improves DRAMATICALLY. Would a reverse otoplasty be a reasonable or recommended procedure to help my hearing? I packed some kleenex behind my ears to try it out and it worked pretty well...except I had a wad of kleenex behind each ear :-) What would something like this cost? Joe

Doctor Answers 3

Hearing Improvemnet

The external human pinna contributes less than 5% improvement in audiograms and sound localization. Therefore, a reverse otoplasty is not worth the cost of such improvement, unless the surgery is also performed for cosmetic improvement.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Reverse Otoplasty for Hearing Improvement?

This is a very interesting question. I agree with Dr. Shah that a hearing test (audiogram) is in order. The ear itself doesn't contribute much in the way of sound amplification. Removing the entire ear doesn't usually cause a significant hearing loss. I am curious whether the maneuvers that you're performing are opening your ear canal. If the canal is narrowed or occluded due to prior surgery or the way the ear and ear canal formed then opening the ear canal would cause improvement in your hearing. However, an examination by an Otolaryngologist or Facial Plastic Surgeon is in order as well as an audiogram to figure out how to proceed. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Weber Facial Plastic Surgery

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Making Ears More Prominent To Hear Better

The outer portion of the ear typically has little impact in hearing in humans.  In animals, i.e. dogs, the outer portion of the ear can help in locating sounds.  Prior to undergoing a procedure to make the ears more prominent, I would consider an audiogram (an objective hearing test) to see if your hearing improves on a quantitative basis.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 163 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.