Symptoms and causes

What is it?

The ear concha is made of cartilage and has several folds. A protruding ear usually occurs when one of these folds is insufficiently formed and the depression right behind the ear canal is too large. The ear may stand out more than two centimetres from the head, giving the appearance of a flap ear.

Diagnosis and treatment


If desired, an otoplasty may be performed to correct this. This is a surgical intervention during which an incision is made on the back of the ear flap. This procedure allows permanent sutures to be placed in the cartilage to adjust the cartilage folds. The dip in the ear flap is usually made smaller, and the ear lobe can be rotated so it is in the same plane.

Because newborns (younger than six weeks) have cartilage that is still quite supple and easily formed, ear flap deformities may be corrected by fitting a splint.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases
Plastic Surgery

Latest publication date: 11/08/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith, Dr Vertriest Rudolf