In Western culture the appearance of prominent ears often draws ridicule. Keeping the ears covered with long hair can hide the problem but it can be very restrictive on lifestyle and activities. The psychological trauma that can impact upon the academic achievement and personal development of young children should not be under estimated. Not surprisingly many children and their parents seek a resolution of the problem through surgery. For adults most simply get fed up with the restriction to their hairstyles but even in this group the psychological issues remain significant.

The operation called pinnaplasty or otoplasty is best performed at an age (five onwards) when the child has an appreciation of the issues and would willingly undergo the procedure. It would also be safer from an anaesthetic viewpoint. The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but for an adult it is perfectly feasible for this to be done under local anaesthetic.