Cosmetic Surgery Tips

is ear pinning painful

Pinning ears is a procedure where the cartilage of an infant’s ear is surgically moved and repositioned to give it a new, more aesthetically pleasing shape. The first time your child undergoes ear pinning surgery will be in early childhood, between six and 12 months old. Since babies’ cartilage has limited flexibility and growth capability, their ears are usually secured in place when they are young so that the reshaping process can begin as soon as possible.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on is ear pinning painful, What can I expect after ear pinning surgery?. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about Fixing ears that stick out. Read on to learn more.

is ear pinning painful

Do you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your ears? Do you have a child who has ears that are too large or stick out too far from their head? If so, you may be a good candidate for ear pinning surgery. This surgery can help correct issues associated with large or misshapen ears, helping patients feel more confident about their appearance again.

Maybe you’ve been avoiding ear pinning surgery because you’re afraid of the answer to this specific question: “Is ear pinning surgery painful?” Ear pinning surgery – more commonly known as otoplasty – is a cosmetic procedure that corrects misshapen ears, thus bringing more balance to the patient’s facial features. While otoplasty procedures can be performed on adults, they’re most commonly performed on children from the ages of 8 and up. Otoplasty is a great choice for patients who feel self-conscious about their ears, or who have ears that are too large or oddly shared for their facial features.

Is Ear Pinning Surgery Painful?

Ear pinning surgery isn’t painful, as patients are placed under general anesthesia for the surgery. However, you may feel some discomfort immediately after the procedure, as your ears will be bandaged to reduce swelling and preserve healing. Additionally, you’ll need to refrain from sleeping on the side of your head, as this can interfere with the healing process.

If you feel uncomfortable during your otoplasty healing process, we can provide you or your child with pain medications to help with the recovery process. You should start to feel more comfortable about three to five days after the surgery; the compression bandage is typically removed about two weeks later.

If your child is undergoing otoplasty surgery, we recommend getting the procedure done during the summer, when he or she can wear the compression bandage and recover at home.

What Kind of Surgery Is Needed for Correction?

There are two primary surgeries on a prominent ear.

The Davis Procedure

There’s what’s called the Davis procedure, and I’ll go through that with you.

The Davis procedure addresses the excess cartilage in the ear that causes the year to come away from the head. The conchal cartilage, located inside the ear, resembles a kidney bean shaped bowl.

The Davis procedure removes excess tissue from the base of this bowl that allows the air to be repositioned, so it lies in a more normal position closer to the head.

So that’s the Davis procedure. That addresses what we call conchal bowl cartledge hypertrophy.

The Mustarde Procedure

The second issue is what’s called lack of an antihelical fold. All of us should have a little crease or a fold right here, which determines where the tip of the ear sits.

If there’s no fold there, no antihelical fold, the ear will come out and stick out. We’re talking about the top of the ear, not the whole ear that we addressed with the Davis procedure.

So this loss of antihelical fold is recreated by what’s called the Mustarde Procedure.

The Mustarde Procedure constructs a fold where there is none on the external ear. This fold is created by measuring, marking and then stitching into place with permanent sutures to create a more natural looking fold.

And it’s basically done with permanent stitches that fold the top of the ear back in and create that antihelical fold.

Is Otoplasty Covered by Insurance?

This surgery is generally not covered by insurance. And the reason for that, by way of insurance companies’ logic, is that it’s not interfering with a bodily function. In other words, because you have prominent ears, that does not interfere with your ability to hear.

It’s a visual thing. It’s just the way your ears look, not how they function. So, insurance companies typically don’t cover non functional procedures, thus it’s considered are cosmetic and self pay for that.

What can I expect after ear pinning surgery?

Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after ear pinning surgery as smooth as possible. 

How long will it take to recover?

Most people stay in the surgeon’s office, surgical center, or hospital for a few hours after ear pinning surgery. You will stay in the recovery room after surgery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. You may have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe during surgery. This is usually temporary, but tell your care team if you are uncomfortable.

You will be drowsy and may be nauseous from sedation or anesthesia. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you the first 24 hours.

You will have bandages wrapped around your head to protect the incisions and support your ears while they heal. Bandages usually remain in place for a few days after surgery. After your provider removes the bandages, you may need to wear a headband, especially when you sleep, for two weeks or more. The headband supports your ears as they heal.

Recovery after surgery is a gradual process. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, your general health, your age, and other factors. It may take two weeks or more to return to normal activities and for your wounds to heal. You should avoid contact sports for at least a month after ear pinning surgery.

Will I feel pain?

Pain control is important for healing and a smooth recovery. You will have discomfort after your surgery, and your ears may itch under the bandages. It is important that you do not scratch your ears or remove the bandages. 

Your doctor and care team will treat your pain and itching so you are comfortable and can get the rest you need. Call your doctor if your pain gets worse or changes in any way because it may be a sign of a complication.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after ear pinning surgery.  Contact your doctor for questions and concerns between appointments. Call your doctor right away or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • Bleeding
  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, or wheezing
  • Change in alertness, such as passing out, unresponsiveness, or confusion
  • Chest painchest tightnesschest pressure, or palpitations
  • Fever. A low-grade fever (lower than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) is common for a couple of days after surgery. It is not necessarily a sign of a surgical infection. However, you should follow your doctor’s specific instructions about when to call for a fever.
  • Inability to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Leg pain, redness or swelling, especially in the calf, which may indicate a blood clot
  • Pain that is not controlled by your pain medication
  • Unexpected drainage, pus, redness or swelling of your incision

Fixing ears that stick out

If you suffer from protruding ears, there is an array of options available to correct their position. These range from temporary non-surgical methods such as ear clips and tape, to otoplasty surgery, also known as ear pinning or pinnaplasty.

You may choose to have otoplasty if you’re bothered by how far your ears stick out from your head. Below we offer an overview of the most common available methods to correct the position of your ears.

Also known as ‘pinnaplasty’, otoplasty is a surgical procedure undertaken to permanently reshape the outer ear, or ‘pinna’ and achieve your desired appearance. 

This method of ‘fixing’ ears that stick out is purely cosmetic and should not be confused with reconstructive surgery used to build up the ear following damage, or a congenital anomaly/ear deformity. Otoplasty surgery does not affect the inner part of the ear that is used for hearing and is often referred to as ‘ear pinning’. 


Otoplasty usually aims to reduce the size of the ears (ear reduction surgery), reshape the ears (ear reshaping surgery), or reset protruding ears so that they sit closer to the head (prominent ear correction surgery). It’s performed under local anaesthetic, or general anaesthetic (depending on the recipient’s age) and usually takes between one and three hours. The time taken will depend on whether the ears are being reduced, pinned back, or both. 

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision behind the ear, remove some of the skin and reshape the cartilage as necessary to achieve your desired result. The ears are then stitched into the new position and you may be asked to wear a headband to protect the ears while they heal. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s aftercare advice carefully. 


Depending on their profession, most adults should be able to return to work about a week after surgery. Recovery time from otoplasty surgery is at least six weeks and any activities that could cause trauma to the ears should be avoided. Any resulting scars from your surgery will be hidden by the fold of the ear. 

As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s essential to only approach qualified, experienced, and regulated plastic surgeons.


Otoplasty surgery risks include complications with scar healing and potential asymmetry. However, a reputable and experienced surgeon will work with you to discuss realistic expectations. Again, the procedure carries the same risks as all operations—including a potential allergic reaction to anaesthetic, as well as infection and blood clots. 

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