Facial Surgery

Ear pinning

Ear pinning

Pinning back the ears is known as an otoplasty, or pinnaplasty. It’s usually carried out on children and young teenagers, although adults may wish to have it done, too.

An otoplasty isn’t suitable for children younger than five as their ears will still be growing and developing.

Most people are happy with the results of an otoplasty, and generally it’s a safe procedure. But it can be expensive and there are still risks to consider.

What does the surgery involve?

Ear surgery usually takes about two hours although complicated procedures may take longer.

It generally involves:

  • making one small cut (incision) behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage
  • removing small pieces of cartilage if necessary
  • scoring and stitching the remaining structure into the desired shape and position

Or, you may be offered a newer technique that involves scoring the cartilage through the ear skin using a needle. No incision is made, but there’s not much good evidence about the long-term quality or safety of this method.

The operation involves the removal of small amounts of skin from behind the ear and the adjustment of the ear cartilage in order to reduce its tendency to spring back to its original position. Permanent stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape of the cartilage.

The operation produces a curved scar behind the ear that usually heals well and fades after a few months.

Results

During the first few days after surgery, your ears may be sore and tender or numb. You may have a slight tingling sensation for a few weeks.

You may need to wear a bandage around your head for the first few days to protect your ears from infection. You won’t be able to wash your hair during this time.

Within 5 to 10 days: Stitches are removed (unless they were dissolvable stitches) and any bandage would probably come off.

After a week or two: Most children would be able to return to school.

After eight weeks: Swimming should be OK.

After 12 weeks: Contact sports should be OK.

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