Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, is performed to reset more prominent ears closer to the natural position on the head. This ultimately prevents the ears from sticking out. Otoplasty can also be performed to reduce the size of large ears. This procedure can be performed on children starting at the age of four or five when the ears are almost fully grown. It can also be performed on both older children and adults; however, it is preferable to do the surgery at a younger age when the ears are more soft and flexible. 

This procedure is done under general anesthetic and takes approximately 1–3 hours to perform. During the surgery, a small incision is made in the back of the ear to expose the cartilage. The cartilage is then resculpted to allow for the ear to bend back toward the head. If necessary, a piece of cartilage will be removed to make sure the most natural appearance is achieved. The incision is made within the natural fold of the ear to conceal the small scar that will fade over time.

 

Before and After

Otoplasty

Otoplasty

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Aftercare and Recovery

There will be a bulky, snug bandage wrapped around the head and this will remain intact to promote proper healing and moulding of the new ear shape. Throbbing or aching of the ears is common in the first few days following the surgery and can be alleviated by elevating the head when lying down and using pain medication that may be prescribed by the surgeon. After approximately seven days, the bandage is removed and replaced by a lighter dressing similar to a headband.  Any stitches may be removed within 7-10 days following the surgery.