What is Ear Pinning Surgery or Otoplasty?
Ear Pinning (Otoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure intended to improve the appearance of the ear. This procedure is usually performed to correct congenital deformities in the ear shape in children and teens.
In adults, ear surgery is also performed for lobe repair after ear “gauging” (stretching of the ear lobe) or other injuries to the ear from accidents.
Ear surgery is a complex form of plastic surgery because there are many parts to the ear that need to be evaluated to determine the exact anatomical problem that needs to be corrected.
Otoplasty may be a simple procedure in the case of “pinning” the protruding ears back or reducing or reshaping the ear cartilage. Adding cartilage grafts may be warranted in some cases.
The goal of ear surgery is to ensure that the ear is naturally proportionate and contoured and sits neatly against the head. After surgery the ears should appear normal from the front, rear and side perspectives.
At what age is ear surgery or ear pinning appropriate for children?
The timing of ear surgery depends on the severity of the child’s deformity. In children with extremely prominent (sticking out) ears, 64-years old and upwards is a good age for surgery.
Newborn babies may be suitable for non-surgical otoplasty
For newborn babies, non-surgical otoplasty may be a viable option using the EarWell™ Infant Ear Correction System. However, timing is crucial, and the non-surgical otoplasty treatment can be successful if used in the first few weeks of life. In fact, it can be used to correct over 90% of all infant ear deformities.
What to expect from your Otoplasty procedure?
Otoplasty is low-risk plastic surgery. In adults it is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under general or less commonly a local anesthetic with some sedation if desired. Usually the procedure takes 1-2 hours – depending on the type of ear surgery required. If your child is having otoplasty surgery, the procedure will be performed in an operating room and a general anesthetic will be used.