Otoplasty – Ear Pinning

Otoplasty - Ear Pinning


Ear Pinning (otoplasty) is a surgical procedure utilized to correct protruding ears and bring them closer to the skull. Individuals who have one or both ears that stick out can benefit from this procedure. It can be performed on adults, or children as young as 5 or 6 years old, when the ears have reached their full size.


Preoperatively the patient will be advised to abstain from certain foods and medication, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, garlic and broccoli, as well as smoking or alcohol use, for several days prior to surgery. These precautions decrease the risk of bleeding and circulation complications. Photos of the existing area will be taken in order to assess the improvement obtained by the procedure. Blood testing may be required if done under general anesthesia.


The procedure takes approximately 1 hour. It is most commonly performed under local anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility in an office. For children, general anesthesia is recommended. During the procedure, an incision is typically made behind the ear in the antihelix and/or concha where excess cartilage and skin is removed. Dissolvable sutures are placed between the concha and the mastoid skull, and between the scapha and the concha, bringing the ear closer to the skull.


The patient will go home the same day with a head bandage around the ears. The area should be kept bandaged for several days (with dressing changes when necessary). The patient will be seen in the office for follow-up examination and evaluation. Patients can expect minimal discomfort for the first 24-48 hours. Swelling and ecchymoses (black and blue) can be expected and will subside in time. While full recovery takes about 1-2 weeks, most daily activities can be resumed within a day or two. The patient will be advised to abstain from salty food which can increase the swelling in the operative site. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to or after surgery to prevent infection.


Some possible risks and complications can occur with this procedure, including those that could occur with any type of surgery, such as bleeding or infection. Other possible risks and complications include hypertrophic scarring, which occurs more frequently in people without darker skin, and recurrence of the protruding ear if the sutures break prematurely. These and any other less common risks and complications will be discussed at the time of surgical consent. It is necessary for the patient to comply with our pre- and post-operative instructions in order to decrease the likelihood of complications.


The fee for this procedure varies depending on the geographic location of your surgeon, the reputation of the surgeon, and the complexity of the individual surgical procedure. Our fees for the procedure range from $5,000 – $8,000. You may incur other fees such as general anesthesia or operating room fees. In some cases, this procedure is covered by health insurance. You should call your provider prior to surgery to determine your eligibility.

If you are interested in ear pinning and would like more information or a personal consultation, please contact us.