The most common cosmetic problem that people have with their ears is that they protrude. Otoplasty is the name given to the operation designed to "pin back" the ears and change their shape and contour. Protruding ears often run in the family. Otoplasty can be performed on children or adults but the ideal time is around 5 or 6 years of age to alleviate possible teasing at school by other children.

Surgery begins with an incision just behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head. The surgeon will then remove or reshape the necessary amount of cartilage and skin to achieve a natural ear shape and projection. Headbands are recommended to hold the ears in the desire position for two weeks after surgery.