BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Otoplasty and External Ear Reconstruction


External ear reconstruction is typically performed to correct deformities and/or defects of the exterior ear caused by congenital malformation, accident or disease.  These deformities may or may not cause hearing loss.

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure performed to correct protruding of the ear with or without size reduction.  Surgical otoplasty is performed on adults or children whose ears have reached full size, usually around five to six years of age. Recent trends in otoplasty techniques have consistently moved toward less invasive options, ranging from nonsurgical newborn ear molding to cartilage-sparing surgical techniques and incisionless, office-based procedures.




American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. (2016). Ear surgery. Retrieved March 22, 2016 from

Braun, T., Hempel, J.M., & Berghaus, A. (2014). Developmental disorders of the ear in children and adolescents. Deutsches Arzteblatt International, 111 (6), 92-98. (Level 2 evidence)

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. (2016). Ear Surgery. Retrieved March 22, 2016 from

Li, C., Dai, P., Yang, L., & Zhang, T. (2015). A meta-analysis of the long-term hearing outcomes and complications associated with atresiaplasty. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79 (6), 793-797. Abstract retrieved March 22, 2016 from PubMed database.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2012, March). Incisionless otoplasty. Retrieved March 9, 2015 from

Pawar, S., Koch, C. and Murakami, C. (2015). Treatment of prominent ears and otoplasty: a contemporary review. JAMA Facial & Plastic Surgery, 17 (6), 449-54. Abstract retrieved January 17, 2018 from PubMed database.




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