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Ear Cosmetic Surgery

Reducing prominent ears (Ear pinning aka Otoplasty)

Ear pinning (otoplasty) is a cosmetic surgery used to reposition the ears closer to the patient’s head, resulting in a more natural-looking appearance. The procedure is regarded as cosmetic surgery as it does not affect the function of the ears and can be done in combination with other procedures.

Prominent ears that stick out can be seen by looking at a person face-on. In children, they can be the source of ridicule, but surgery can be performed once the ears are fully grown, at around 5-years old.

There is artistry in the surgery to ensure that the pinning of the ears is effective and do not return to their original position. Over-pinning of the ears should be avoided as this looks unnatural.

Surgery consists of making an incision in the natural fold in the back of the ear. A strip of skin and cartilage is removed to allow for an improved shape and contouring of the ear, followed by placing anchoring sutures that will stabilize the ear cartilage to give a long-term result.

Dressings are placed for several days, then headbands are used for two weeks in the afternoons to continue light pressure during the healing process. The ears may be uncomfortable for a week, particularly when sleeping on the side. The scar is hidden in the crease behind the ear.

*Results May Vary

Ear Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is the recovery from a Otoplasty?

    The results of the surgery are immediate, although local swelling can make the ears look larger for the first week. The swelling and local bruising takes about 1 week to mostly resolve, and the great majority of patients return to work after one week. There is a small incision behind the ear and the superficial skin sutures are removed after approximately 1-week. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity 3 weeks after the otoplasty.

  • What are the risks or complications of Otoplasty?

    All cosmetic surgery has some risks, but generally speaking, otoplasty is very safe. With otoplasty, there is a small risk of infection, bleeding, allergy and over or under-correction of the ear position. Dr De Silva advises against otoplasty in patients with an increased risk of infection. Dr De Silva uses advanced techniques to reduce the risk of complications, and match the position of the right and left ears.

  • How long do I need to wear a headband?

    We recommend that you wear a headband at night for 4 weeks after the procedure. The headband provides support to the ear while the soft tissues and cartilage of the ear is healing.

  • What type of anaesthesia do I need for otoplasty?

    Otoplasty can be completed with local anaesthesia. Dr De Silva prefers his patients to have sedation anaesthesia, which is also known as twilight anaesthesia. It provides a comfortable and relaxed experience for patients, with a faster recovery than general anaesthesia. Dr De Silva’ s patients are able to go home within 30 minutes of their procedure with sedation anaesthesia. General anaesthesia can be used for otoplasty in children, but it is not necessary in adults.

Ear Pinning/Otoplasty FAQs

  • What is otoplasty?

    Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is a cosmetic ear surgery that can be performed to reposition, or “pin back” protruding ears so that they rest closer to the head. Although otoplasty can alter the size and shape of the outer ear, it does not affect the internal structure of the ear—making it an aesthetic procedure. Dr. Julian De Silva offers the otoplasty and ear lobe repair in his London, UK office.

  • What happens during an otoplasty procedure?

    First, an incision is made in the natural crease behind the ear. Skin and cartilage is removed, which allows the ears to be reshaped and sculpted back toward the head. Once the ears have been repositioned, sutures are placed to stabilize the cartilage in the new, permanent shape. Because the incisions are made in the fold, scars will be inconspicuous.

  • How long does the surgery take?

    The length of the procedure depends on the patient. However, routine surgery takes about 2 hours.

  • Can the procedure be done on one ear only?

    Yes. However, it is often recommended that the procedure is performed on both ears. This helps to ensure greater symmetry and an overall balanced, harmonious result.

  • Can otoplasty be performed on children?

    Yes. In fact the procedure is commonly performed on children, whose protruding ears can be a source of peer ridicule. Surgery can be performed once the ears have fully grown, generally between the ages of 4-6 years. Early surgery can prevent the insecurity and embarrassment that comes from teasing. In addition, the cartilage is softer and more pliable, which allows for easier shaping.

  • Does otoplasty cause pain and discomfort?

    After the surgery, patients will experience some discomfort in the ear area, such as throbbing and aching, which lasts about a week. The first days tends to be the most uncomfortable, due the compressive dressing that must be worn. Discomfort may be more acute at night, especially when sleeping on the side.

  • What is the recovery time?

    The recovery time is relatively short, requiring about a week of recuperation before returning to work or school. In general, there is not severe bruising, but the ears will be swollen for the first 4 days following the procedure. For the first few days, dressings must be worn. Afterwards, a compressive headband must be worn for two weeks, as the ears fully heal.

  • Are there risks involved?

    In general, the risks are minimal for individuals who are in good health. Complications can include haematoma, infection, and prolonged numbness. Infection of the skin and cartilage can be prevented with the use of the appropriate antibiotics. Risks of adverse effects are heightened if you smoke, have diabetes, or are overweight. Those considering otoplasty should remember that some minor asymmetry may be present after surgery. But most patients are elated about the result, which gives a satisfactory boost to their self-image. Dr De Silva will go through the risks during a consultation.

Learn More about Facial Treatments

About the Author

Finding the most reputable facelift expert is never easy. Therefore, you should always research the best surgeons in your area and ask plenty of questions. Dr. De Silva is a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, global educator, with a track record of doing procedures for top celebrities. He is based at world-renowned Harley Street in Central London and specializes in three main procedures: Face and Neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, and Rhinoplasty.

Come witness a custom-built surgical centre that is not your average hospital. You are guaranteed to experience natural-looking results and fast healing thanks to growth factors, oxygen therapy, and state of the art technology.

By specialising in only the face, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting premier results. Dr. De Silva achieves natural-looking results for his patients using the latest technology, so they can heal quickly and look their absolute best. No matter what your reason for wanting a cosmetic treatment is, Dr. De Silva and his team are here to help. To find out more information about Dr. Julian De Silva and his work, check out our website.

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