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Dr. Charles Thorne is an experienced surgeon who has been performing otoplasty surgery in the New York, NY, area for over 30 years for both children and adults dissatisfied with the appearance of their ears. This cosmetic ear surgery is often recommended to reshape and reposition ears that protrude away from the head. It can also be used to address overly large ears and certain ear deformities. If you style your hair to conceal your ears, avoid wearing hats and hairstyles that draw attention to your ears, or are simply unhappy with their appearance, you may benefit greatly from otoplasty surgery.

otoplasty before
otoplasty after

Otoplasty with reduction of upper ear

Who is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty Surgery?

Ears come in all shapes and sizes and are unique to the individual patient. No matter the cause of your concern, your procedure will be precisely customized to your needs. Otoplasty surgery can address a number of cosmetic imperfections, including:

Candidates for otoplasty surgery include patients at any age from four to 90. However, many parents choose to wait until the child is old enough to voice their opinion on whether or not to undergo treatment, typically around age seven. Before undergoing surgery, patients and parents should have realistic expectations and a positive perspective for what otoplasty can provide.

Planning Your Otoplasty Procedure

The first step to improving your appearance is meeting with Dr. Thorne during a private consultation to discuss your concerns and goals. He will also perform a complete medical examination to make sure you are a good candidate for otoplasty surgery. This will include reviewing your medical history, current medications, and evaluating you for any signs of ear infections or medical conditions that could cause complications and compromise your results.

Ears come in all shapes and sizes and are unique to the individual patient. No matter the cause of your concern, your procedure will be precisely customized to your needs.

After deeming you a good candidate, a treatment plan tailored to your unique goals will be created and carefully explained in detail. You will also be given a list of pre-surgical and post-surgical instructions that should be followed to assist in your recovery.

What to Expect During Treatment

On the day of your procedure, you will be taken to a private surgical room. Dr. Thorne offers both local and general anesthesia. The type used will depend on your age and the intricacy of the procedure. Local anesthesia is typically administered for teens and adults, while general anesthesia is used for young children.


Once you are comfortable, Dr. Thorne will begin the procedure. The location of the incisions will be contingent on the imperfections being addressed. For overly large, uneven, or misshapen ears, incisions will be discreetly made in the natural folds of the ear. This allows Dr. Thorne to decrease and reshape the cartilage and skin. When ears protrude, an incision will be made in the back of the ear in the natural crease so Dr. Thorne can move the ears closer to the head.

Sutures and Bandages

Once the ears are properly positioned, Dr. Thorne will close the incisions. Permanent sutures are frequently left in the ear under the skin to hold the cartilage in the correct position. The sutures on the outside are absorbable and do not require removal. Dr. Thorne will carefully apply fluff bandages to protect the ears. You will also be given a compression headband to wear after the bandages are removed to keep the ears properly contoured. The overall procedure typically takes an hour and a half, and you can expect to fully return to normal activities within two weeks.

Financing is Available

The overall cost of otoplasty surgery is dependent on a number of factors, including the type of anesthesia used, the complexity of the procedure, surgical fees, and exams and lab tests. Because it is typically considered an elective procedure, most insurance companies do not cover treatment. To help offset costs, Dr. Thorne accepts CareCredit® financing to assist with out-of-pocket expenses.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about otoplasty and how it can benefit you or your child, we invite you to meet with Dr. Thorne. He will take all the time necessary to explain the procedure, benefits, and risks and answer any questions or concerns you may have. To schedule your consultation, please contact us online or give us a call at (212) 794-0044. We also have provided answers to many common questions on our site for you to read in the meantime.

In The Media

Dr. Thorne is consistently highlighted in every publication profiling the Best Doctors in Manhattan or the Best Doctors in the entire United States. He has been featured in the New York Times multiple years running, as well as America's Top Doctors, and has hosted a radio show on plastic surgery alongside dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks.

  • New York Best Doctors 2019
  • New York Best Doctors 2017
  • New York Best Doctors 2014
  • New York Best Doctors 2008

  • New York Best Doctors 2005
  • Americas Top Doctors 2002
  • Castle Connolly 10th
  • Castle Connolly 6th