Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Ear pinning enhances your physical appearance

By Stephanie Guler, Senior Content & Social Media DeveloperLast modified: February 16, 2012

Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Ear pinning (Otoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure that decreases the size of large ears, corrects deformities, or pins overly protruding ears closer to the head.

As a prominent feature of the head and face, the size of your ears plays a large role in the way you look physically. Like nose surgery (rhinoplasty), even the smallest changes in the ears can mean big changes in self-esteem and appearance. Ear surgery (Otoplasty) is a common procedure in both children and adults, and it can correct a wide assortment of cosmetic issues.

A Good Candidate For Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

People generally choose to have cosmetic ear surgery because they are simply unhappy with the way their ears look. Whether your ears are the wrong size, asymmetrical, or if you have a deformity like cauliflower ear, undergoing otoplasty can help tremendously. Children ages four to fourteen are the most ideal candidates for cosmetic ear surgery due to the responsive, flexible nature of young ear tissue. Patients younger than four years are still growing and therefore not good candidates for this type of cosmetic surgery. Adults of all ages also seek out ear pinning (otoplasty) on a regular basis, and as long as you are in good physical health, you may be considered for the procedure.

Preparing For Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

The first step in the surgery process is to find a surgeon who specializes in ear pinning (otoplasty). Once you find a surgeon who suits your needs, the preparation process begins. Doctors recommend for patients to quit the use of all tobacco products six weeks before surgery. Tobacco use (especially smoking) restricts circulation, which causes wounds to heal more slowly. Two weeks before surgery patients should also stop taking aspirin and similar products. This is very important because aspirin promotes bleeding and causes bruising to be even worse than normal.

Ear Pinning (Otoplasty) Procedure

The ear pinning (otoplasty) procedure begins with a dose of anesthesia. General anesthesia is generally used for children and local anesthesia with a sedative is used for adults. Surgery time varies depending on the complexity of the procedure, but generally this type of cosmetic procedure takes about two hours.

During the ear reduction procedure, doctors will remove one or more parts of the ear, and will normally hide the incisions in the folds of the outer part of the ear.

The ear pinning procedure is a bit more involved. The plastic surgeon will start by making an incision in the crease located behind the ear, which makes scarring virtually invisible. Next, the surgeon removes excess skin and cartilage from the rim of the ear (this is what causes ears to stick out further than normal), and stitches the ear closer to the head. Ear pinning (otoplasty) is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, so patients return home to rest after the surgery is completed. Cosmetic ear surgery can also be performed with other face surgeries such as facelift (rhytidectomy) or a brow lift (forehead lift).


Ear Pinning (Otoplasty) Recovery

One of the benefits of cosmetic ear surgery is a fairly easy recovery period. Patients can expect mild bruising and swelling, as this is the norm for most surgical procedures. The patient’s ears may throb and ache, but this discomfort can be relieved with pain medication prescribed by the doctor. As with most cosmetic surgery procedures, patients will want to see the results as soon as possible, but it’s important to allow time for your body to heal properly before removing any bandages. Dressings typically stay on for about a week before removal, and afterwards patients are required to wear a special band around the head for a few weeks to ensure perfection in the size and shape of the ears. Bruising and swelling usually subsides after 2 weeks, but keep in mind, results won’t be completely noticeable for a few months after the procedure has taken place.

Cost Of Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

The cost of ear pinning (otoplasty) varies greatly across the United States depending on your location and the individual surgeon’s fee. Anesthesia and additional prescription medications will also add to the overall cost of your procedure.

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