Cosmetic Surgery Tips

is ear pinning surgery painful

If you have been considering ear lobe surgery, you should know that it is surgically reshaped. Ear pinning surgery can be performed around the ears, including their lobes, or just in one ear. Ear pinning surgery is possible to achieve if the cartilage and soft tissue structure behind your ear lobes was not formed well or if they do not stick out. While ear pinning procedure has many documented benefits, understanding how it works and what to expect before and after surgery may help you make a more informed decision about undergoing the procedure.

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 surgery painful, What to expect during treatment. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about Recovery and possible complications. Read on to learn more.

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.

Well, otoplasty is basically called ear pinning. It’s fairly common. It depends on the person’s practice, their orientation, and their specialty. It fits more into facial plastic surgery than anything else.

It’s a congenital problem. Children are born with this. We probably do roughly one case a month. We enjoy doing it, and patients appreciate the results.

Which Common Ear Abnormalities Can Be Corrected With Otoplasty?

The ear abnormalities are usually one of three possibilities. It can be the external ear, this part right here, or it can be the actual cartilage of the ear that positions it either further away from the head or closer to the head.

One is a cartilage issue. That’s the ear positional thing. The other is the ear fold issue. So, a person can have one of those problems, or they can have both of those problems.

What Motivates Patients to Get Their Ears Pinned?

Motivation for otoplasty is more or less psychological, to be quite honest. People are made fun of when they have big ears. And that’s the bottom line. You do see people in society with big ears who grow old, and they adapt, and they seem to be fine with that.

Many people, especially in the childhood years, developmental years, do get made fun of at school, and that’s probably the biggest motivation for fixing.

What Happens During a Consultation for Otoplasty?

During the consultation of otoplasty. I first ask the patient, why? What’s your motivation? What brought you to this at this point in time?

That’s interesting is sometimes we’ll see people who are much older, in their 30s, sometimes 40s, and now they decide to get their ears fixed. And you’d wonder why not when you were a child, because clearly you probably had concerns way back then. So we ask them that what brings you to this point.

The next question becomes what bothers you? Even though I can look at the ear and say, Okay, here I see these problems, it’s more important to know what the patient is concerned about. They might just be concerned about the fold up here. They might be concerned about the ear being too far away from the head, or both. And so we go through that so that we match their concerns with the procedure.

Can Otoplasty Be Performed on Children/Teenagers?

The surgery can be performed on all age groups. Again, there tends to be a trend towards a younger age, as children become aware of themselves in school, particularly grade school and junior high, and there’s criticism about their prominent ears.

That would that would be the the primary age group, younger, maybe as young as five, but in the range to early teens. And then occasionally, rarely will see people in their 30s or 40s.

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 to expect during treatment

Various techniques can reduce the prominence of the ears. The sections below will cover these in more detail.

Ear molding or splinting

This is a safe, simple procedure that is suitable for infants within the first few weeks of life. This is when the cartilage in the ears is at its softest. By the time the infant is 6–7 weeks old, the cartilage begins to stiffen.

During this procedure, the surgeon will use a splint to reshape the soft cartilage. The splint supports the ear and keeps it in the new position.

Different types of splintTrusted Source are available. They are made of soft, elastic, moldable material.

The surgeon will fit the splint to the ear with surgical tape. Parents and caregivers should leave the splint in place 24 hours per day and take the child to the doctor for regular checkups. The infant may need to wear the splint for a few weeks to a few months. After 6 months, the cartilage in the ear will become too hard for remodeling with splints. After this point, surgery will be the only treatment option.


A plastic surgeon will usually carry out an otoplasty. Sometimes, however, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon or a pediatric surgeon will do it. The surgeon will use a general anesthetic for a child and a local anesthetic for an adult. They will then make an incision behind the earTrusted Source and apply stitches, which may be permanent, to hold back the outer ear. In some cases, they may remove some cartilage.

The procedure will take around 1–2 hours.

The incision will leave a thin scar, but this is behind the ear, and it will fade over time.

Incisionless surgery

Some types of surgery do not need an incision. For these, the recovery time may be fasterTrusted Source, with a lower risk of complications. During this procedure, the surgeon will place a needle into the cartilage to increase its flexibility. Then, they will use stitches to reshape or fix the ear.

In a study of a modified version of this technique, almost 94%Trusted Source of people said that the appearance of their ears improved. However, more research may be necessary to confirm its safety and effectiveness.

Also, this type of procedure may not be suitable for everyone. For example, if a person’s prominent ears are due to excess cartilage in the concha of the ear, they would need a formal otoplasty. This is because the surgeon needs to cut some of the cartilage out through a skin incision.

Recovery and possible complications

The recovery process will depend to some extent on the type of surgery a person undergoes. After surgery, a doctor will apply a dressing over the ears. The dressing will remain in place for several days, but the doctor may temporarily remove it the day afterTrusted Source surgery to check for a hematoma.

After having the dressing removed permanently, a person may need to wear a protective headband over the ears, especially at night. This can prevent the ears from being pulled forward during sleep.

After the procedure, the person may notice:

  • soreness for a few days
  • numbness and tingling for several weeks
  • slight bruising for around 2 weeks

The individual should be able to:

  • wash their hair 14 days after surgery
  • swim after 4–6 weeks
  • travel at any time
  • return to school after 1–2 weeks
  • participate in contact sports after 12 weeks

However, it is essential to check with a doctor before returning to daily activities.

Possible complications

Some complications can arise with this procedure. These include:

  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection with any surgery. Receiving prompt treatment with antibiotics can help prevent further complications.
  • Bruising: A hematoma, or blood clot, can form under the skin of the ear. It may appear 1–3 daysTrusted Source after surgery. Pain is the primary symptom.
  • Recurrence: Sometimes, the ears may start to stick out again, and revision surgery could be necessary.
  • Unsatisfactory appearance: Sometimes, the results of reconstructive or cosmetic surgery are not what the person expected. The ears may be asymmetrical, too close to the head, or too far from the head.
  • Numbness: The ears may be numb for several weeks following surgery.

Damage to the cartilage can resultTrusted Source from infection, a hematoma, or tightening of the sutures. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent further problems.

Is it worth it?

Otoplasty is usually safe and successful, with high satisfaction rates. In fact, researchers in Germany foundTrusted Source that people felt that they had a better quality of life after undergoing otoplasty to reduce the prominence of their ears.

In 2020, the average cost of otoplasty in the U.S. was $3,220, depending on the provider and the type of intervention a person chooses.

Insurance almost never covers otoplasty, as it is purely a cosmetic surgery. However, insurance will cover reconstructive surgery for ears that have sustained traumatic injuries and procedures in children born with severe irregularities or congenital absence of the ear. It is important to have realistic expectations about what otoplasty can achieve. It can make the ears look less prominent, but perfect symmetry is not always possible.

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