Otoplasty (Ear Pinning Surgery)

UF Health plastic surgeons help those unhappy with their ears’ appearance, or who have been in an accident, restore proper proportion, size and shape to their ears

Over projected ears, whether caused by genetics or a major accident, present major challenges to those who have them, especially children. A minimally-invasive procedure known as an otoplasty helps correct these issues.

Who would require ear pinning surgery and how do I know if it’s right for me (…or my child)

Ear pinning surgery – known in the medical world as an otoplasty – helps improve the shape, position and proportion of the ear. This procedure is done to either correct deformities present since birth or it corrects the impacts of an injury. Some patients also undergo a 2nd or 3rd otoplasty to make updates and corrections to prior ear pinning surgeries.Even correcting minor deformities can have dramatic impacts on self-esteem and appearance.

Many otoplasty patients are children. Generally speaking, kids must be at least 5 years old and have stable enough ear cartilage to allow for correction. They also must be able to follow instructions well and not seem uncomfortable with the thought of surgery.

In general, ear surgery is safe for you to consider for yourself or a child older than 5 years old if:

  • You’re healthy with no life-threatening illnesses, ear conditions or other medical conditions that can impair healing
  • You’re a non-smoker
  • You have realistic expectations and are getting the procedure for yourself, not to satisfy someone else’s desires

How should I prepare for ear pinning surgery?

When you meet with your surgeon, you should be completely candid as to your concerns and why you think an otoplasty will help you accomplish your goals…the success of every operation depends on the patient being completely honest about all conditions, goals, previous surgeries and more.

Our surgeons will evaluate your general health and need to know about any existing medical conditions, as well as about your medications, drug and alcohol usage. Next, the surgeon will fully evaluate your health, take photographs for your medical records, discuss options for treating your particular situation and discuss what’s likely to happen along with any complications, although rare, that could arise.

If you take any medication or herbal supplements, you’ll likely need to adjust your dosages since Aspirin and other drugs increase the risk of bleeding. Stop smoking well before your procedure and be sure someone is available to drive you home.

Above all – follow your ear surgeon’s instructions. This will ensure that both your otoplasty procedure and recovery go smoothly.

How long will the procedure and my recovery last?

Ear surgery generally lasts 2-3 hours and is performed on an outpatient basis. Surgery time depends on your situation and how extensive of a correction your ears require.

Following the procedure, ear surgeons will apply bandages to the surgical area that you will need to wear for about 7-10 days after your procedure. Some pain is to be expected but is easily manageable through medications. Whatever you do, do NOT remove the bandages because of any potential itching.

In 10-20 days following your procedure, you can expect your ears to be recovered and fully formed to their new shape. However, it’s generally recommended you (…or your child) avoid any rough play or contact sports for at least month.

If you or your child has ears that are out of proportion, irregularly shaped or sized, contact UF Health otoplasty surgeons and schedule an appointment today.

Find out more about what you can expect if you or your child undergo an otoplasty procedure.

Call 352.265.8402 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Learn about more facial surgery options.