Cosmetic Surgery Tips

is ear pinning plastic surgery

A patient considering ear pinning surgery for cosmetic reasons may also find it helpful to understand what the procedure entails, its risks and how one’s ears will look after surgery. Ear pinning surgery shortened the ears and makes them stand up on a person’s head. The key components of this procedure are reshaping the ear cartilage and repositioning it so that an ear appears more streamlined.

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 plastic surgery, Causes of Protruding Ears. 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.

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If your ears protrude or are misshapen, or if your child has misshapen or protruding ears, cosmetic surgery may be an option.

The surgery, which doctors call otoplasty, is most commonly done on children ages 4 to 14. It’s never too late, though, to make a change, and adults do undergo this surgery. Otoplasty can correct ear conditions such as protruding ears, abnormally large ear lobes, lop ear (in which the tip folds down and trends forward), and shell ear — a condition in which certain features of a normal ear are missing.

Deciding on Ear Surgery

The first step is to consult a surgeon. At the first meeting, tell the surgeon about your goals as well as your medical history. Ask about risks, benefits, costs, recovery, and whether your expectations for the results are realistic.

You also need to talk to your health insurance company. That way you can find out before the surgery what, if anything, your insurance will cover.

Most health insurance companies only cover ear reshaping surgery if it will solve a functional problem. For instance, you might have it to correct a hearing impairment. Your insurance also may provide coverage if an otoplasty is done to correct a deformity or congenital abnormality. But if it’s being done for cosmetic reasons only, it may not be covered at all. In that case, ask your doctor for full details about the costs and payment options.

How Cosmetic Ear Surgery Is Done

There are several ways the ear can be reshaped. One involves cutting out the cartilage, which is the main structural component of the ear. Another involves folding and stitching the cartilage instead of cutting it away.

In either case, your surgeon will begin by making a small cut at the back of your ear. This will allow access to the cartilage for the necessary procedure. After the surgery is complete, the surgeon will close the cuts with stitches.

What to Expect and How to Prepare for Cosmetic Ear Surgery

The surgery will last about two to three hours, depending on how complex the procedure for your case is. It may take longer than three hours if the procedure you need is very involved. Ask your surgeon for details about what your case requires.

If you are an adult, your surgeon probably will use local anesthesia with a sedative. A child will likely receive general anesthesia (be put to sleep) to ensure that they cannot move around during the operation. People getting general anesthesia cannot eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery or the morning of the surgery. The last meal the night before should be very light.

Most otoplasties are done in the surgeon’s office or in an outpatient facility. On the day of the surgery, wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing a shirt with a collar. It’s also a good idea to wear a shirt with buttons so that you do not have to pull it over your head.

If you are an adult, the surgery will be completed within a few hours and you can go home the same day. Plan for a friend to drive you home and stay with you the first night. Sometimes, in the case of a child, the doctor will prefer that the child stay in the hospital one night. If you are undergoing a more complex procedure as an adult, you also may need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Cosmetic Ear Surgery Recovery

You should plan to stay home at least one week after the surgery. Children should stay home from school for at least one week. Your head will be bandaged before you are sent home. It’s very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions on how to handle the bandage to ensure a smooth recovery.

Your surgeon will tell you how long you will need to wear the bandage and how to manage it while you sleep. You likely will have to wear it for at least three days. When you have the bandage removed, your surgeon will provide you with a headband-type dressing. They may want you to wear this for up to three weeks to promote proper healing.

If you have stitches that need to be taken out, your surgeon will do this about one week after the surgery.

Expect scars, which will likely fade over time.

Causes of Protruding Ears

Otoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the pinna, or the outer ear. The procedure can be done to improve appearance or correct a deformity. The ears can be pinned back so they look better or reconstructed after an accident or a congenital deformity, where the outer ear is typically built up. ENT Specialists delves more into the causes of prominent ears and treatment options available.

Reasons to Have Otoplasty

Prominent ears can create self-esteem issue for children, leaving them subject to bullying from having ears that “stick out”. This can lead to psychological distress, can affect their well-being, and the way they act. It’s not just children that can have these feelings. Adults can also suffer, affecting day to day life. It can cause them to become distracted or worried about their appearance. Otoplasty is usually performed during childhood but can be done at any age. Over 4,000 otoplasty procedures were performed in the United States in 2017.

Causes of Protruding Ears

Most of the time the outer ear is positioned on the side of head at an angle of 20 to 35 degrees. When they stick out more than 35 degrees, they are considered prominent and will look like they are “sticking out.” It can run in families, but usually happens randomly. Having protruding ears should not cause hearing problems and only affects about 5 percent of the general population.
• Overdevelopment of the cartilage. The pinna will be more prominent if there is too much cartilage.
• Underdevelopment of the cartilage. Occurs when the ridge of cartilage at the top of the ear doesn’t fold correctly during development, or the outer edge of the ear doesn’t fold in toward the head but sticks instead.
• Ear injury. Prominent ears can be the result of injury.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that between 6 and 45 percent are born with a congenital ear deformity. 30% of children that have prominent ears had ears that looked normal at birth, but then developed their unusual shape in the first three months. There are times when these deformities will self-correct. If they don’t within a week after birth, either an otoplasty or a non-surgical correction can be done.

What causes prominent ears?

Most people who are considered to have prominent ears have had them since birth, or they have developed this condition in very early childhood. Prominent ears are rarely caused by an accident or illness and there isn’t any known effect on hearing or general health if someone is born with protruding ears. 

Main causes of protruding ears include:

  • Underdeveloped antihelical fold

In terms of location, when looking into the ear, the outer part forms the shape of the letter ‘C’. Inside the ‘C’ shape, the cartilage can be likened to the letter ‘Y’. The bottom part of the ‘Y’ shape is the antihelix. People who don’t have this fold usually find that they have ears that stick out.  

  • Excess cartilage in the concha area

This is another reason for protruding ears, or one protruding ear, and it refers to the bowl-shaped part that pushes the ear away from the head. Equally, some individuals with protruding ears may display a combination of both excess cartilage and an underdeveloped antihelical fold. 

  • Genetics 

We often get asked “are protruding ears hereditary?” and like with all of our physical features, protruding ears often run in families. They can, however, randomly appear in one member of a family.

Newborn Ear Splints

Ear splinting is the non-surgical option and can be done to treat infants 6 months or younger. Splints are used to reshape the cartilage while it is still soft. The splint will support the ear in the new position. After 6 months, the cartilage becomes too hard and can’t be remodeled with splints and surgery will be needed. A surgeon will use otoplastic techniques to correct, reconstruct, or replace a deformed, defective, or missing ear or pinna. The best results are achieved once the ears have reached their full size. This usually happens at age 5. Any missing folds can be remodeled, and the ear can be positioned closer to the head. Three main types of otoplasty:
• Ear augmentation can be done if the pinna is underdeveloped or non-existent.
• Otopexy can be done to “flatten” protruding ears by pinning them back.
• Ear reduction can be done to reduce the pinna when it’s too big.

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. 


Costs for this type of surgery vary depending on what each patient wants to pursue—be it ear surgery for big ears, ear pinning for protruding ears, or a combination of the two.  At The Harley Medical Group, we offer ear reshaping surgery for both men and women.

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