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Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Ear Pinning or Otoplasty is an operation designed to create more normal-looking ears for people whose ears protrude excessively from the side of the head. Most otoplasties are performed on children so the correction is completed before a child can be teased or ridiculed, as can often happen. Surprisingly, ears have reached about 80% of adult size by age five or six, so an ear pinning operation during childhood is appropriate. If, for some reason, an otoplasty was not performed in the early years, it is a straightforward operation for teens and adults, as well.

For children, otoplasty is usually performed while under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or for a very short stay. For teens or adults, ear pinning is a very comfortable operation to have on an outpatient basis and can even be done under local sedation.

There are a number of surgical techniques for correcting ears that stick out too far. The goal of all the ear pinning methods is to create ears that look more normal without visible scars. The most common methods leave a scar on the back of the ears that is essentially invisible unless the ear is folded forward.

Following surgery, a wraparound head/ear dressing is usually left in place for several days. Pain is usually minimal. Sometimes, the desired correction is not maintained over time but this is uncommon. All of the normal risks of any operation including infection and thick or wide scars can occur.

Ear Pinning is normally a very well tolerated operation with happy outcomes. If you are interested in more information about an otoplasty, we suggest you make an appointment with one of La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre’s board certified plastic surgeons. Please call La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, San Diego, at (858) 452-1981 for more information on our cosmetic surgery procedures, including earlobe reduction plastic surgery.