Otoplasty Surgery: What Causes Prominent Ears?

Related image

Protruding ears can come in several forms, on a variety of individuals for different reasons. Infants are sometimes born with folding ears or protruding ears, and some go on to develop healthy ear shape as they grow, others will not. Some individuals with protruding ears have a Dumbo-like appearance, while others experience abnormally elongated lobes. As individuals age, in some cases, the ear cartilage will build up and protruding ears are formed.


There are several causes for protruding ears that range from congenital disabilities or genetics to nerve damage or trauma. Many infants are born with floppy, abnormal and protruding ears.

The most common birth defect in babies is protruding ears all because of how delicate the development process is in the womb. Sometimes babies are born with flopped over or protruding ears which are often a sign of a more significant chromosomal abnormality. Along with widely spaced eyes, physician’s will often do chromosomal testing.

Cauliflower ear is often seen in individuals who regularly do high-impact sports like rugby and boxing. Cauliflower ear is a form of permanent protruding from repeated trauma to the ear cartilage.

Bell’s palsy and similar nerve disorders can cause drooping of the ears because of the loss of facial nerve function. The cartilage never stops growing, but it grows at a prolonged rate as we age; and our ears and noses continue to get larger.


Generally, protruding ears are defined by how they appear. Some people develop permanent swelling of the ear cartilage because of trauma, which causes the ear to stick out because the upper portion of the ear swells. Folded ears are common in children with fetal alcohol syndrome and down syndrome.

Genetics will cause true protruding ears, which takes place when the folds of the ear cartilage have not formed correctly, causing the ear to stick out from the sides of the head. All of these different kinds of protruding can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but most can be corrected.


Otoplasty is the best treatment to correct protruding ears and should be administered by a cosmetic surgeon, like bat ear correction specialists in Sydney – Dr Zurek. An incision is placed behind the ear; the fold is readjusted to pull the ear closer to the head and then sewn up with dissolving stitches.

This operation takes approximately two hours under general or local anaesthetic. Most individuals recover fully in just five days, and the swelling and bruising dissipate in around three weeks. This operation can safely be administered to children as young as 5.