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While most cosmetic procedures are only for adults, ear surgery (otoplasty) is actually performed more often in children between the ages of 4 and 14. If your child’s ears seem asymmetrical, misshapen or disproportionate to the head and other facial features, cosmetic ear surgery in Chicago can help him or her feel less self-conscious. And of course, adults who have concerns about the appearance of their ears can be helped through ear surgery as well.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Otto Placik has helped kids and adults from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs feel more positive about the shape and placement of their ears with cosmetic ear surgery. Additionally, Dr. Placik offers a full range of facial cosmetic surgery procedures to help you feel and look your best.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on ear surgery, including prices.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.


About Ear Surgery

Unlike other parts of the body, the ears reach their full mature growth quite early in life and are at about 85 percent of their final size when a child is around age 4 or 5. Because prominent ears can lead to teasing, bullying and damaged self-esteem particularly in children, scheduling otoplasty is typically something that occurs in childhood rather than adulthood. Ear surgery can also be performed on adults who have always felt uncomfortable about the size, shape or position of their ears, or to correct a childhood otoplasty that delivered subpar results.

During surgery, Dr. Placik places incisions behind the ear where they can be fully hidden in the ear’s natural creases and folds. Sutures may be used to “pin” the ear back permanently, or Dr. Placik may remove a tiny wedge of cartilage for additional improvement or longer-lasting results. The level of correction achieved during otoplasty (sometimes called “ear pinning”) can range from quite subtle to dramatic results depending on your cosmetic goals.

Otoplasty is most often performed as a simple outpatient procedure using IV sedation or general anesthesia, and the surgery itself usually takes just an hour or two. Discomfort after ear surgery is usually mild, and can be controlled with oral medication.

Following your Chicago otoplasty, Dr. Placik will ask that you keep your head elevated, and apply a compressive dressing that needs to be worn for about a week. After the first week, the bandages can be exchanged for a headband that’s worn just while sleeping for the following 3 weeks to protect the healing cartilage and help maintain the ears in their new position.

In a select group of neonates, in whom the congenital ear deformity is recognized at birth, there exists a nonsurgical option called the EarWell™. This is best applied in the first weeks following delivery, when the ear cartilage is soft and capable of being molded. After three weeks, the success of the EarWell™ device declines.

Correction of cleft or split earlobes or those deformed by trauma, earrings, piercings or gauges may also be repaired with relatively simple procedures under local anesthesia.

Patient Not a Model

Ear Surgery FAQ

Am I a candidate?

A child or adult who feels troubled by the appearance of ears that look uneven, stick out too far (or not far enough) or in other ways lead to feelings of embarrassment or result in teasing may be a candidate for otoplasty. Otoplasty can be performed as long as the ear has reached most of its mature growth, normally around the age of 4 or 5. The EarWell™ device is optimally applied within the first 3 weeks of life.

What’s the best age to schedule my child for otoplasty?

Generally speaking, the preference of both surgeons and parents is to perform ear surgery sooner rather than later. The younger your child is at the time of surgery, the better the chance of preventing the most damaging psychological effects that could occur from being teased. The key is to find a balance between sufficient physical maturity of the ears and enough emotional maturity that the child can cooperate during the recovery process.

How much does otoplasty cost?

The cost of cosmetic ear surgery in Chicago differs from patient to patient depending on many different considerations, like the level of correction that’s needed, the age of the patient and the surgical approach Dr. Placik recommends. In some cases, your health insurance policy may cover all or part of the procedure if it’s considered medically necessary. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

Can ear surgery help me if my ears are too small?

Although cosmetic ear surgery is most commonly associated with ear pinning for too-prominent ears, otoplasty by definition can include the correction of any number of aesthetic concerns related to the ear, including ears that are too small or sit too close to the head. Ear surgery can also refer to earlobe repair after a torn piercing or to close stretched ear lobes after wearing gauged jewelry.

What can I expect during surgery and recovery?

Our Chicago otoplasty is a relatively simple surgery, and that means a fairly straightforward recovery as well. The patient can return home the same day of the surgery, and should notice results within the first month. Ears should look more balanced in relation to other facial features, with concerns over aesthetic appearance largely resolved.

What are the risks?

Otoplasty is a commonly performed procedure that carries minimal risks such as blood clots or infection. Occasionally, patients (particularly children) may notice that the somewhat elastic cartilage “springs back” to some degree, although this is not typical. More serious concerns such as overcorrection, irregular contours, cartilage infection or hearing complications, while possible, are also very rare.

Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about cosmetic ear surgery, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Updated March 24th, 2020

With businesses all around us closing by either mandate or voluntarily you may be wondering how long we will continue to operate, or even why we are still open at this point.

After serious consideration and in line with the recommendations of our State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are limiting the practice until April 7th.

We are diligently monitoring conditions and recommendations from professional organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and understand that the situation is ever-changing and may alter our plans at any point in the future

As physicians, we are cognizant of protecting our own patient population most at risk and the need to conserve our own limited resources. Actions have already been taken to postpone or cancel appointments and surgeries for patients who are best served staying home to limit potential exposure. We have also canceled or rescheduled appointments for services that are not immediately necessary in many cases.

Effective immediately the following will occur:

  • All procedures and in-person consultations will be limited until April 7th. This may be revised in the following week.
  • The office will be (not fully) staffed, and we will see our urgent post-surgical follow-ups.
  • We are instituting Virtual Consultations for all potential patients.
  • Many surgeries are rescheduled and some of the ones that are committed will occur on a per case basis.
  • No patient will ever have any financial recourse for our fees for rescheduling their procedures.

We are constantly updating our services and staffing according to the local and national recommendations and will always place your health and well-being as our top priority.

We continue to exercise all the latest recommendations that are handed down by the CDC. These include:

Staff have been fully informed and trained to understand the disease process and its modes of transmission.

  • All staff, vendors and ancillary personnel are being asked to refrain from coming to this office if they have any signs or symptoms of a cold or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Every patient is also being asked to refrain from coming to the office if they have any symptoms.
  • We are asking our patients about any pertinent travel history.
  • Hand-washing continues to be the most important mode of prevention. Although it is a part of what we constantly do, now we are doing so with heightened vigilance and attention.
  • We have instituted a “no handshakes no hug” policy for now.
  • We have asked all vendors that any unnecessary meetings are canceled until further notice.
  • Any exit and entrance from our office are followed by a protocol of changing shoes, scrubs and sanitization.
  • As we are an (NO accredited) medical facility, we are constantly sanitizing all surfaces. We have now vamped that up and our routine, multiple times a day, wiping down all surfaces, desks, door handles, keyboards and restroom facilities. (We have assigned a person that does so on a constant basis.)

As previous communications have shared, procedures and protocols have been put in place (and continue to evolve) to protect our employees in the workplace. However, no one can guarantee the absolute protection from infection or potential exposure despite recommended precautions being taken.

The virus can be transmitted before an infected person starts exhibiting symptoms. It is possible for a person to be infected and also not experience symptoms. We are doing everything possible to prevent people exposed or exhibiting symptoms from access to our facilities. Even with all of our precautions, exposure to patients with the COVID-19 virus can happen. When we become aware of any potential exposure, our response is immediate and actions are taken to protect everyone directly involved.

Experts are predicting that 40% of the Chicagoland population will be infected within the next month. Current information demonstrates that for 97% of the people infected the symptoms will be mild or flu-like. 3-5% of patients will require hospital care, and the mortality rate is less than 2%.

Risk of exposure will occur at every touchpoint of our daily lives outside of our home-- including gas stations, grocery stores, and medical facilities.

Although Covid-19 is a serious issue, we strongly believe that it will pass and hopefully make our infrastructure and our ability to deal with pandemics in this Country even better than it currently is. We are monitoring this situation on a real-time basis and will not sit back until we know that we have done everything possible to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Here are some links that might be useful:

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to answer your questions

Please allow us time to respond.

Call us at our current phone line to leave a non-urgent message or via our online email, contact form, virtual consultation or apex chat service popup box. As always for any emergency services, please call 911