Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Otoplasty, or “ear pinning,” is an operation designed to improve the appearance of the ears. This usually involves removal of cartilage from behind the ears, repositioning the ear closer to the head, and reduction of the ear lobe. 

To view before and after photos of patients who have had ear pinning, please click here or the picture to the left.

How can ear pinning improve how I look?

An otoplasty is designed to reduce ear prominence, which may include the overall size of your ears, the distance from your ears to your head (how much they “stick out”), and the definition of your ear structures, including the earlobe and ear folds. 

How does ear pinning work?

Different ears require different techniques to produce an optimal appearance. Common surgical maneuvers include removing part of the conchal cartilage, which results in less “sticking out” of your ears; placing sutures next to the rim of the ear (Mustarde’ sutures), which produces a more normal ear contour; and reduction of the earlobe, which can appear more prominent after the rest of your ear is improved. Each of these improvements are made from an incision hidden behind the ear in the groove where the ear meets the head. This is closed with dissolving sutures that do not need to be removed.    

Can other procedures be combined with an otoplasty?

Yes. Ear pinning can be combined with other facial operations (and sometimes body or breast operations) in adults. At your complimentary consultation, Dr. McDaniel will discuss your concerns and help you create your optimal, individualized treatment plan.

What will my recovery be like?

Otoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning a hospital stay will not be necessary. You will be seen the next day to ensure that you are healing well and to receive have postoperative instructions reviewed. In the next year you will have regular follow-ups to ensure that your procedure is satisfactory.

Protective ear cups are placed at the time of surgery. These will be kept in place for the next week day and night to protect your repair and for the next week at night. Avoiding exercise for three weeks after surgery will minimize swelling and bruising.

Is much discomfort to be expected after ear pinning?

Pain after an otoplasty is usually mild to moderate. Some numbness may be present and resolves over the next several months. Resting over the first several days after surgery will minimize swelling, bruising, and discomfort. You will receive a prescription for pain medication, typically used for a week, after which over-the-counter medications should be sufficient.

What kind of scarring can I expect?

Ear pinning scars involve a scar behind the ear along the groove. Occasionally this scar will be along the edge of your earlobe as well. After about a year, your scars will have optimized to their best appearance and least visibility.

How much does ear pinning cost? Are financing options available?

Dr. McDaniel believes in keeping costs reasonable. An otoplasty costs between $5600 and $6700, which includes the cost of CosmetAssure coverage as well as the surgical, facility, and anesthesia fees. We are also pleased to offer a multi-procedure discount. 

Financing plans are available through CareCredit. Please inquire at our office for more information.

"Otoplasty is very effective at improving ear appearance and decreasing prominence."
-Dr. Jarred McDaniel

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*Cosmetic consultations are free of charge. Consultations for medical concerns will be billed to insurance.

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