Otoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures for children. The majority of patients who undergo otoplasty are between 4 and 14 years old, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, although many adults also elect to have the procedure.

Ear surgery can correct protruding ears (excessive ear cartilage), large or otherwise deformed earlobes, “lop ear” (where the ear tip bends down and forward), and “cupped” or “shell ear” (which could be a very tiny ear or an ear without natural creases). Today a select number of surgeons have developed techniques to create ears for patients who are missing all or part of their ears as a result of a birth defect or traumatic injury.

Earlobe surgery, a much less invasive procedure than otoplasty, is performed to repair earlobes that have been torn by earrings or intentionally stretched as a form of body modification (gauging).