Except in children, the operation is performed using light sleep anesthesia. In children less than 8 years, the operation is always performed under general anesthesia. All incisions are placed behind the ear so there are no visible scars after the operation. If the ears are protruding they may be rotated back. If some of the natural folds are missing they are created. Missing or abnormal sections of the ear may be constructed from tissues taken from other parts of the ear or from other areas of the body. Ears that have been injured, most commonly in wrestling, and are thickened can be thinned and sculpted. At the end of the operation a pressure dressing is worn.
The operation is mostly performed in children around age 6. The child generally follows instructions well because he/she is so happy to have the problem repaired and pleased with the results.