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What Is Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)?

Ear pinning, which is medically known as otoplasty, is a procedure that helps to improve the appearance of prominent or misshapen ears. The surgery can place prominent ears closer to the head or reduce the size of large ears. Otoplasty is commonly performed on children between 4 and 14 years of age, though the surgery can also be performed later on in life. When performed at an early age, the surgery can help spare children and young adults the psychological challenges that can be associated with prominent ears.

Who Are Good Candidates For Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is ideal for individuals who are in good overall physical health and are unhappy with the shape, proportion, or size their ears. However, as with any surgical procedure, patient circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis in order to properly determine the best route for achieving the desired results.

  • Large or protruding ears

  • Lop ear (top of the ear folds downward or inward)

  • Cupped ear (a small ear)

  • Shell ear (no outer curve in the cartilage)

  • Large, stretched or torn earlobes

  • Earlobes with large creases and wrinkles

  • New ears can be constructed for patients who are missing them from injury or other causes.

Recovery After Otoplasty:

For the first few days following an otoplasty the patient’s ears must remain bandaged in order to hold their place and heal as intended. The bandages are then removed and replaced with a lightweight headband that relieves the pressure, but also continues to keep the patient’s ears comfortably in place to continue healing properly. Five to seven days after the surgery, the patient no longer needs to wear the headband and is permitted to return to work or school.  Typically the surgeon will allow vigorous exercise after three weeks; however, activities that may result in the bending or hitting of the ear should be avoided for at least six weeks.

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