Otoplasty (cosmetic ear surgery) is a surgical procedure used to alter the appearance of protruding ears. This surgery is especially beneficial for young children who are often the victims of teasing from their peers, or adults who have become self conscious of their appearance. In general, otoplasty is best performed at an early age, typically 5 - 8 years of age. Cartilage in the young patient is more pliable and easier to remold than the cartilage of an adult patient. Ear prominence is a multifactoral problem. Consequently, to properly correct the problem it is of the utmost importance that the plastic surgeon be able to recognize the underlying cause of the ear prominence. With this procedure the cartilage of the ear is molded and shaped to provide a more natural contour and appearance to the ear.