Surgical Procedures Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)

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Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)

Protruding, or “outstanding,” ears can be a source of embarrassment in children resulting in low self-esteem and social isolation. In adults it can result in a feeling of self-consciousness. Patients often hide their ears behind their hair or are self-conscious about having certain hairstyles. Regardless, it is a psychologically traumatic experience and warrants correction.

The protruding ear can be due to a number of different factors, but all stem from irregular maturation of the cartilage portion of the ear during development as a fetus. An otoplasty is performed in order to re-shape the cartilage of the ear so that it is returned to its natural configuration. Utilizing an incision strategically hidden behind the ear, the normal contours of the ear and its normal position in relation to the head is re-established.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question - What is an otoplasty (ear pinning)?

An otoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to improve the appearance of prominent or misshapen ears. It is often referred to as “ear pinning”. It utilizes an incision hidden behind the ear to re-shape the cartilage in order to establish a natural appearing ear with the correct contour and position. This may involve reducing the size of overly large ears or placing overly prominent ears closer to the head.

Question - At what age can an otoplasty be performed?

An otoplasty can be performed in both children and adults. In children, the procedure is typically performed no earlier than age 5-6, as this is when the ear has matured and grown to its full size.

Question - What should I expect with regards to recovery?

A bandage is often worn around the ears for several days to minimize the swelling and maintain the ears securely in position. After this is removed there may be some slight residual swelling or bruising, but patients may resume normal social activity.

Question - When can I return to work or school after an otoplasty?

Work or school can usually be resumed within about five to seven days after the otoplasty surgery.

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