Ear pinning, Otoplasty

Otoplasty is plastic surgery performed on the ears. It is often used to reduce the protrusion or size of the ears, but can also correct a wide range of ear deformities.

Am I a candidate for ear surgery?

Patients with ears that are too large, abnormally shaped, or that stick out too much from the side of the head are candidates for ear surgery. Otoplasty can be performed on adults of any age. Ear surgery can also be performed on children as young as five or six, and often has the beneficial effect of improving their self-image and self-esteem.

Otoplasty can be performed during the same surgical session as a number of other facial procedures, such as a LiteLift™, facelift, or blepharoplasty.

How is ear surgery (otoplasty) performed?

There are a number of techniques for surgically reshaping and adjusting the ear, and Dr. Nichter or Dr. Horowitz will recommend specific techniques for you at the time of your consultation.

Otoplasty is done on an outpatient basis. Patients have a choice between sedation and general anesthesia.

Protruding ears are corrected by reshaping the cartilage that makes up their structure, aligning your ears closer to your head. This is done through an incision behind the ear, which will be hidden from view. Ears that are misshapen or need to be reduced in size will probably require external incisions, which will be made along the natural contours of the ear in order to hide the scars most effectively. Reducing the size of the ear most often involves removal of ear cartilage.

Ear surgery recovery

Otoplasty patients will leave their surgery with a bandage which wraps around the head. This dressing will be left on for several days. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.

You will see the initial result of your surgery after several days.

A thin stocking cap or head band should be worn while sleeping for the first 3 weeks in order to protect the ears. Contact sports will have to be avoided for 6 weeks.

Risks of otoplasty

Complications with ear surgery are unusual. As long as post-operative instructions are followed, the risk of major complications is minimal. As a surgical procedure, otoplasty does not carry an infection risk higher than the normal background level for surgery. Dr. Horowitz or Dr. Nichter will explain any individual risks to you at time of consultation.

For more information

For further information on ear surgery, to to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please call our office at (714) 902-110 or (949) 720-3888.