Ear Surgery

Excellence in Orange County Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph T. Cruise excels in performing ear surgery, also known as otoplasty. Patients with concerns about protruding ears that affect their satisfaction with their appearance often ask him similar questions, and in order to provide those patients with the information they need to make decisions about their best cosmetic surgery option, the staff at Cruise Plastic Surgery has provided this website. Dr. Cruise believes that each patient should be consulted with individually, and he believes that each patient should have access to numerous before and after otoplasty pictures so that they can see the results that Dr. Cruise’s past patients have experienced.

Please see topics below related to cosmetic ear surgery:

On this site, Dr. Cruise has attempted to provide some answers to the most frequently asked questions he hears from his otoplasty patients. At your consultation with Dr. Cruise in his Orange County office you can ask for more details about your particular concerns and plastic surgery desired results. Patients most often want to know about:

  • Will otoplasty correct protruding ears?
    Cosmetic otoplasty is an ideal procedure for altering the shape of protruding ears.
  • What are the procedures involved in ear plastic surgery?
    Is the ear cartilage removed or simply folded backward? Dr. Cruise discusses how different patient concerns require different surgical approaches.
  • What kind of anesthesia is used for otoplasty?
    Typically, cosmetic ear surgery is performed under local anesthesia and does not require going to sleep under general anesthesia.
  • What are some of the possible complications and risks of otoplasty?
    Learn about the healing process and what to expect after ear surgery.
  • How long does it take to recover from otoplasty?
    Most patients recover quickly and experience almost no interference from their daily routine.
  • How affordable is ear plastic surgery?
    Find out about the financing options available through Cruise Plastic Surgery.

Overview of Ear Surgery

For most of us, ears are a background facial feature. They usually do not draw attention to themselves and people like it that way. Ears are not a feature that people like to highlight, and ears that protrude from a person’s head, or otherwise cause themselves to be noticed, are not considered attractive or ideal. Many patients who come to Dr. Cruise with questions about how to correct this aspect of their appearance are relieved to hear that the condition is correctable with a simple otoplasty procedure.

Protruding ears are usually not larger than other people’s ears, typically they bend outward rather than staying close to the scalp. This condition seems to be more common in men, but Dr. Cruise has worked with both male and female patients to correct protruding ears that caused them to be dissatisfied with their appearance.

Children under 4 years old should not undergo otoplasty surgery, as they are still growing and it is best to wait until the ear has reached a near-adult size. After a child is 4 years old an ear surgery can be performed virtually at any time, and many parents choose to schedule the surgery during the summer break between school semesters.

Protruding Ears

Typically, protruding ears are due to a congenital lack of cartilage curvature in the ear. Ear cartilage normally bends backward toward the scalp, but cosmetic ear surgery can reverse the protrusion that results if this bending never occurs. For newborns younger than 6 weeks, the condition can be corrected without surgery, but as a person ages ear surgery is required to obtain a normal, compact ear appearance.


To change the shape of the ear, Dr. Cruise typically removes skin and some cartilage, and sutures the ear to create the bending that did not naturally occur. As a part of his otoplasty technique, Dr. Cruise locates the ear surgery incision completely behind the ear, making it invisible to most people. These incisions often heal quickly and without complications, and typically leaves very little scar tissue.

Ear surgery can conveniently be performed under a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. Patients typically experience minimal discomfort, but local anesthetics cannot be used on children under 10 years old or those who are hyperactive or restless. Discuss your anesthesia options with Dr. Cruise during your personal consultation.


This patient’s protruding ear is caused by both an excess of cartilage as well as failure of the ear to curve backward. Both problems were corrected to obtain the optimal result.

Underdeveloped Ears

Other patients come to Cruise Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach with concerns about underdeveloped ears. “Microtia” are ears that have not developed fully, while “anotia” are ears that have never developed at all. While these problems are also congenital and more difficult to correct than protruding ears, Dr. Cruise is experienced in many types of ear surgery and is happy to address each individual’s concerns.


A typical incision after otoplasty. The incision is located behind the ear, which heals exceptionally well and is well hidden, making the incision virtually unnoticeable.

Results  from Ear Surgery

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your ears and are looking at your cosmetic surgery options to change their shape and size, Dr. Cruise has the knowledge and experience to help you achieve the results you want. As one of Orange County’s top plastic surgeons, Dr. Cruise believes in giving each patient the information they need to make the right decisions for their unique concerns and situation. Before your consultation, brose the gallery of otoplasty before and after pictures to find other patients with concerns similar to yours. At the consultation you can ask Dr. Cruise about your specific appearance and how ear surgery will alter it, and he will be able to provide you an idea of the results you can expect.  For more information, contact us today!