The auricle collects sounds and transmits them to the middle and inner ear. It has no direct effects on hearing. Its development is 98 percent completed at 5 years of age. However, growth may occur in later years as the cartilage and the skin lose their elasticity.
Auricles that are visibly large, or laterally extended when looking at the face in a mirror are called "prominent ears." To eliminate this problem, the prominent ear surgery called "otoplasty" is performed.
This is a surgery using sutures that are frequently used and that decompose in a long time. Cartilage reduction operations are also performed sometimes in addition to this surgery. These techniques don't disturb the ear's structure, and allow it to achieve a natural look. The patient can be up and about in 1 week after this surgery.