Psychosocial effects of otoplasty in adult patients: a prospective cohort study

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 May;276(5):1533-1539. doi: 10.1007/s00405-019-05391-y. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Objective: This prospective study investigated changes in psychosocial status following otoplasty.

Methods: All patients who participated in the study filled a sociodemographic form that included age, gender, educational status and job preoperatively. Body Image Scale (BIS), Social Appearance Anxiety Scale (SAAS) and Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (RSES) were completed prior to surgery and 6 months postoperatively.

Results: A total of 20 patients completed psychometric measures of body image, social appearance anxiety, and self-esteem. Of the patients (6 males, 14 females) whose charts were reviewed, the mean age was 24.05 ± 8.25 years (median 22 years: range 18-49) years. Six months post operatively BIS total scores were increased significantly relative to that of the baseline values (p = 0.005).SAAS scores were decreased significantly relative to that of the baseline values (p = 0.003). Although the postoperative RSES score tended to improve, it was not significantly different from the baseline value. The RSES scores showed significantly strong correlation with the SAAS scores (p < 0.001) and moderate correlation with the BIS scores at baseline (p = 0.013). None of the patients admitted for surgery had low self-esteem at baseline, with all patients categorized as having either moderate (n = 10, 50%) or high (n = 10, 50%) self-esteem. Following surgery, only one patient improved from moderate to high self-esteem. The baseline and postoperative BIS, SAAS, and RSES scores did not significantly differ between women and men. None of the other sociodemographic characteristics showed significant relationships with the three scales.

Conclusions: Otoplasty can provide significant positive psychosocial benefits, even in an adult population. Therefore, this type of surgery should be offered to any patient seeking a solution to prominent ear-related psychosocial problems regardless of age.

Keywords: Bat ear; Otoplasty; Prominent ear; Psychosocial effect.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Ear, External / abnormalities*
  • Ear, External / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Concept*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult