An otoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves an incision hidden in the natural crease behind the ear through which the cartilage can be reshaped to give the ears a more natural, and less noticeable, appearance.
Otoplasty is performed most commonly to pin back ears that are more prominent and more noticeable than they should be, which is why the procedure is sometimes known as ear pinning surgery. Otoplasty procedures are performed in men and women of all ages, and also in children as young as 6 years old if the problem is significant.
Dr. Nicholas Vendemia performs ear pinning surgery for men and women in the New York metro area. We encourage you to contact us online or give Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery a call at 917-703-7069 to schedule a visit. Dr. Vendemia is a leading cosmetic surgeon in New York City with a reputation for custom care and beautiful results.
Am I a candidate for otoplasty?
There are two main anatomic reasons why the ears appear more prominent than usual, and these are the most common problem that otoplasty surgery can address:
- A large conchal bowl. The conchal bowl is the concave piece of cartilage that you can feel when you put your finger behind your ear and push forward. An extra large concha is the most common reason why ears stick out, so trimming the conchal cartilage is one the most common techniques used in otoplasty surgery.
- An absent antihelical fold. A normal ear has two folds of cartilage running around the top edge of the ear… one fold on the outside, and another one just inside of that. The inside fold is sometimes flattened or completely absent, and this makes the ear appear much larger and flatter than it actually is. Restoring or enhancing the antihelical fold is also a very common technique in otoplasty surgery.
How long does an ear surgery procedure take?
On average, most otoplasties will be somewhere between 2 and 3 hours long depending on the complexity of the operation. A simple ear pinning with only a conchal cartilage trim and setback will take about 2 hours, while a complex case with a conchal setback and antihelical fold reconstruction could take 3.5 to 4 hours.
What is the recovery like after ear pinning?
The recovery after otoplasty is fairly straightforward. Otoplasty patients of all ages go home the same day with a comfortable head wrap bandage. Most surgeons will instruct you to leave the bandage in place for a few days (or up to a week in some cases). After the bandage comes off, you will be able to see the results immediately. There may be some minor bruising and swelling, but for the most part, your ears will look great even at this early stage. There may or may not be an stitches to remove depending on your surgeon’s preference. After the initial bandage comes off, you’ll be able to shower and wash your hair normally. Your surgeon will likely have you wear a strap or headband while you sleep at night for a month or so to protect your ears when you’re not awake, but other than that, there isn’t much else to do.