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Our Procedures

Ear Pinning

A procedure known as otoplasty, or ear pinning, is used to correct the size and/or placement of an individual's ears. Most patients undergo ear pinning when they are between the ages of 4 and 14, because the ear is fully developed at the age of 4, and having the ear pinning performed sooner rather than later can help avoid adolescent ridicule. However, it is becoming more common for adults to request surgical ear pinning, especially as the procedure is fairly simple and inexpensive.

The specific methods used in ear pinning can vary slightly based upon the patients' needs and desired outcomes. Generally, an ear pinning involves making an incision in the fold behind the ear, removing some skin and/or cartilage and pinning the ear with permanent sutures. In some cases, the surgeon performing the ear pinning will remove a sliver of cartilage from the ear and suture the gap shut, allowing it to fuse together closer to the head. This technique can also be used to perform an ear pinning that reduces the size of the ears in addition to repositioning them.

The scars resulting from ear pinning are quite small and easily hidden by the crease where the ear meets the head. Most ear pinning procedures are performed under light sedation, although very small children may be given general anesthesia to prevent fidgeting. Usually, an ear pinning takes around two hours to complete and the patient may return home immediately following surgery. The recovery from an ear pinning is usually very simple-patients will wear a dressing to mold and apply pressure to the ears. This dressing helps to ensure the optimal outcome of the ear pinning procedure, and it is critical that patients not touch the bandages or get them wet. Three to five days after the ear pinning, the patient should return to have the bandages removed. Occasionally, patients will experience stinging, throbbing or aching in their ears after an ear pinning. Any discomfort is usually easily alleviated through the prescribed pain medication.

Ear pinning is an especially effective form of cosmetic surgery, and its low risk of side effects combined with the fact that it is among the more inexpensive cosmetic surgery procedures make ear pinning a popular choice for patients of all ages and sexes.