The normal ear is comprised of cartilage with a number of convolutions, and failure to fully develop these curves can produce a birth deformity.

Reconstructive surgery can be performed as early as the age of 5 years. While surgery can be done on adults as well, surgery at this age is before the child has endured any social stigmatization. Many adults will choose to have surgery for prominent ears that were not corrected in childhood for enhanced self-confidence and freedom to style their hair short.