How do I prepare for an otoplasty (ear reshaping)?

In your consultation, you will be able to discuss all your expectations with your surgeon. Together, you can decide which option is best for you or your child. You should plan to stay home for at least five days after the surgery. Children should stay home from school for at least one week and limit their activities.

The actual surgery will typically last one to three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure for your particular case. Your surgeon will detail all of this for you.

If you are an adult, your surgeon may use local anesthesia with a sedative or general anesthesia. A child will typically receive general anesthesia to ensure that he or she will be still and comfortable throughout the procedure.

If the patient is receiving general anesthesia, he or she is not allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery, or the morning of the surgery. The last meal the night before surgery should be very light.

You should be sure to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Do not wear a shirt with a restrictive collar; ideally, you should wear a button down shirt that you do not have to pull over your head. This is especially important for children. You want to avoid any unnecessary impact to the surgery site.

Most surgeries will be completed within a few hours and you can go home the same day. It’s a good idea to have someone with you who can drive you home and stay with you the first night.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/19/2018.


  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Ear Plastic Surgery. Accessed 8/14/2018.
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Cosmetic Procedures. Ear Surgery: Otoplasty. Accessed 8/14/2018
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Otoplasty: Ear Surgery. Accessed 8/14/2018.
  • Wise JB, Sunder S, Quatela V, Constantinides M. Chapter 79. Otoplasty & Microtia. In: Lalwani AK, ed. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. Accessed 8/14/2018.

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