Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, helps create a natural shape of the ear, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor deformities can have a profound effect on an appearance and self-esteem. While once popular with only children, more and more adults are also experiencing the benefits of this procedure.
What is otoplasty?
This procedure is done when the ears protrude more than normal. Otoplasty sets the ears back to a more inconspicuous position. It can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear.
Who is a good candidate for otoplasty surgery?
Otoplasty patients can vary in age. Any healthy individual who is age five (when the ear growth is almost complete) or older can have this procedure performed. However, otoplasty is sometimes recommended for children younger than that, if they are severely disfigured. In this case, an early ear surgery eliminates the emotional stress they might experience when they enter school.
Are there any risks involved?
The risks associated with this procedure are common with any surgery. Infection and bleeding are a potential complication but when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon these side effects are rare and usually minor. You can reduce these risks by following the doctor’s instructions both before and after the surgery.
What happens during ear pinning surgery?
Otoplasty is usually performed to create or restore the center fold to disproportionately large or prominent ears. The surgical incision is made on the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. Then, the surgeon uses sutures to fold the cartilage in on itself, thereby reshaping the ear. This procedure usually takes a little longer than one hour to complete, depending on the extent of the surgery.
What happens after ear pinning surgery?
A mildly compressive head dressing is worn for the first couple of days after otoplasty. You will need to return for your follow up visit in 7 to 10 days after your surgery. Any discomfort can be controlled by medication.
How long is the recovery after otoplasty?
You should be back to normal activities in one week. We recommend that you take it easy for a few weeks to give your ears time to heal. You will be asked to wear a snug headband at night for a couple of weeks to help maintain the position of the ears following surgery.
Can I combine otoplasty with other procedures?*
Dr. Lazzaro also performs ear surgery to correct bifid earlobes, or an earlobe that has been split or torn due to trauma or injury. The procedure restores the natural contour of the earlobe.