Ear Reposition or Pinning (Otoplasty)

Protruding ears often lead to years and years of ridicule from fellow classmates and friends. This mental trauma can be avoided with a small procedure. Ear repositioning or ear pinning (Otoplasty) can eliminate years of self-consciousness by reshaping, repositioning, or pinning the ears back to create a natural look that no longer draws attention to the ears. While this procedure is often performed on adults, it can be done on children as young as five years of age. Both ears can be corrected at the same time.

At the Center for Facial and Body Rejuvenation, our board-certified facial plastic surgeons approach every ear surgery individually. No two patients are the same, and what each requires to make their ears look more natural and attractive is different as well. We spend time with you to understand what you wish to correct, and we examine you carefully to determine the best surgical plan to achieve your goals.

We have performed many successful otoplasty surgeries for our adult and pediatric patients in the greater San Francisco Bay area. With two board-certified facial plastic surgeons in our office, you have the option to receive a second opinion within one office.

While we can correct prominent ears that stick out too far from the head, we can also reposition ears that are too high or too low, as well as reshape ears that are malformed, mismatched, or asymmetrical. These abnormalities might include long earlobes or a misshapen bowl of the ear. Sometimes, the ears are simply too large and need to be decreased in size.

Your Otoplasty Procedure

Most ear surgeries can be performed using local anesthesia and IV sedation. General anesthesia is recommended on children, however. Patients are able to go home within a few hours of surgery.

Ear pinning, which is the most common technique used for ears that protrude from the head, involves permanent sutures that attach the backs of the ears to the scalp.

For patients who need their ears reshaped in some way, some tissue might be removed to create a better shape. In rare cases, cartilage is grafted from one part of the ear to the other or from the ribs to the ear.

Otoplasty is an exceptionally customized procedure based on each patient’s needs.

Recovering from Otoplasty

A few hours after your surgery, you can go home with a friend’s assistance. You will not be able to drive right away.

You will leave our office with bandages over your ears, which can be removed within a couple of days. There will be some bruising, swelling, itching, and mild discomfort for up to three weeks. You can take pain medication, and we recommend sleeping upright for a few nights to keep swelling to a minimum. You must also sleep only on your back with a headband over your ears for at least the first week and perhaps longer.

You will not be able to use ear buds for a week or two, and you must take care when using telephones. It is preferable during the healing period to use speakerphones, if possible. If not, telephones should not be pressed against the ear.

Most people return to work or school in a week, but there should be no participation in sports or exercise for a few weeks.

If tissue or cartilage has been removed, the sutures will be removed within a week. Scars are usually hidden within the folds of the ear, but it depends on where the excess tissue was located. We will also see you for post-operative examinations to make sure that you are healing well.

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At the Center for Facial and Body Rejuvenation, our board-certified facial plastic surgeons approach every ear surgery individually. No two patients are the same. 

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