A fat transfer is a medical procedure in which a patient’s own adipose tissue is taken from one area and transplanted to an area to which the patient would like a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and shallow areas or an increase in volume (often the lips or areas with wrinkles and fine lines). It is generally a minimally invasive procedure and is a common alternative to popular collagen treatments and BOTOX. Patients commonly choose fat transfers to address the lines between the nose and the mouth, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles.

Otoplasty basics

Otoplasty is the surgical term for changing the appearance of a person’s ears. The procedure originally was developed in India hundreds of years ago and became more technically refined in the early 1900s, but didn’t start really growing as a cosmetic procedure until the late 20th century. Otoplasty involves changing the shape and size of the ear by removing, replacing, or repositioning the cartilage and soft tissue.

Otoplasty is also one of the few cosmetic procedures that can be performed on children and teenagers. In fact, more than 25% of otoplasty patients in 2014 were between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. Parents sometimes prefer to have their child’s ears corrected early to spare them any ridicule or bullying as a result of how their ears look.

person that received otoplasty

Issues corrected with otoplasty

One of the biggest problems that can be corrected with otoplasty is overly prominent ears, which can be related to the way the ear looks on the person’s head, the size of the ear, or both. Cartilage at the back of the ear forces it to stick out from the person’s head, giving them "Dumbo" ears.

To correct this condition, an otoplasty surgeon removes some cartilage through an incision behind the ear at the place where it connects to the patient’s head. The ear is then pinned back towards the head and the remaining cartilage is sutured into place with permanent, internal sutures.

The shape of the ear isn’t affected while the ear is being pinned back, but it can also be altered if necessary. Excessive cartilage can make the ear overly large, so resizing the ear is similar to pinning. The surgeon makes an incision at the back of the ear, usually in the outer rim or conchal bowl, then removes and reshapes the cartilage to make the ear smaller. Because the incisions are at the back of the ear, they are inconspicuous and easy to conceal.

The earlobe is another part of the ear that can be helped with otoplasty. When the earlobe is torn, either through an injury or having an earring ripped out, it may not heal together correctly and cause it to be misshapen or split. Earlobes that have been stretched with gauges are also misshapen and have displaced soft tissue that needs to be reconstructed. Otoplasty surgeons can reconstruct a patient’s earlobes by removing the top layer of skin surrounding the rip or hole, repositioning the remaining soft tissue, and then suturing it into place.

Benefits of otoplasty

The ears aren’t an area of the face that is generally noticeable, unless there is something about them that makes them noticeable. Ears that are overly large, misshapen, or prominent can make a person the target of bullying, teasing, and name-calling. They can also be a major source of insecurity about a person’s appearance. Otoplasty can improve a person’s self-image and confidence by making a few simple corrections to the ears so that they are less conspicuous.

Otoplasty procedures are also generally shorter than other surgical cosmetic procedures, so you’ll be in and out of the surgeon’s office quicker. Complete recovery takes a couple of weeks, but the initial recovery period with bandages and pain medication regimens will be over after just a few days.

Otoplasty / Ear Surgery Gallery

Otoplasty at Spalding Drive

Here at Spalding Drive Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA, we have some of the best facial plastic surgeons in the business, including Dr. Paul Nassif. Dr. Nassif has been featured for his work on several television programs, including "Good Morning, America", "Entertainment Tonight", "Dr. 90210", and his current show on E! Network, "Botched". Dr. Nassif’s skill and attention to detail as well as his excellent patient care truly make him Trusted With Faces Worldwide®.

Common steps in ear reshaping/otoplasty


During your consultation, Dr. Nassif and Dr. Yoo will explain to you where the incisions will be placed, and how the shape of the ear will be changed. They may use photo-imaging to clarify what you may expect from surgery. They will explain in detail what you can expect before, during and after surgery and will help you address any questions or concerns you may have.


The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia, meaning you will be completely asleep during the surgery. For adult patients, the procedure is also very well tolerated awake with local anesthesia, for those patients who prefer it.

We choose only the very best board-certified anesthesiologists from Cedars-Sinai to perform anesthesia for our patients, and they are able to give a very light anesthesia which keeps patients completely comfortable while virtually eliminating "grogginess" after surgery. Patients return home the same day after recovering from anesthesia.


A small incision is made in the crease behind the ear. This placement ensures the incision is hidden from view once hidden. The cartilage of the ear is then reshaped with permanent sutures. These sutures precisely alter the position and shape of the cartilage. At times the cartilage may be scored or small portions removed to achieve the desired shape. Sutures will remain in place along the incision behind the ear for a week, at which time they will be removed. For the first night a compressive head dressing is placed around the ear. This dressing is replaced with an elastic headband the next day during your first post-operative visit, which you will wear for the following week. When you return 1 week after surgery the sutures will be removed, and the headband will only have to be worn at night for an additional 2 weeks.


The ear does swell during the first week after surgery, but quickly returns to its normal appearance. Once the sutures behind the ear are removed, a small, well-hidden incision remains behind a more attractive appearing ear.