Large or prominent ears can be a source of discomfort in people, causing them to feel self-conscious in common everyday situations. Although situated at the sides of the face, prominent ears can detract from one’s overall beauty and confidence.

Otoplasty or ear pinning surgery is a specialized, corrective ear surgery performed by Dr. Rana at Rana Facial Plastic Surgery. This procedure can restore both balance and symmetry where it may be lacking.

What is Otoplasty?

Cosmetic ear surgery does not impact the function of the ears or the patient’s hearing in any way. Only the exterior portion, or outer ear, is affected. During the procedure, the ears are repositioned on the head to a more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing place. Prominent ears may appear large if they are angled toward the face, but will look smaller once otoplasty is complete. The ears will then lay flatter against the head. If the patient feels their ears are too large for their head, the overall size can be reduced by corrections to the cartilage and earlobes.

Beautiful woman with elegant ears.

Otoplasty Techniques

There are three commonly used methods in insolation or in combination with one another to provide you with the most balanced and aesthetic appearing ears.

Dr. Rana will evaluate in consultation whether your prominent ears are due to a lack of an antihelical fold requiring Mustarde sutures, increased auriculocephalic angle requiring Furnas setback sutures, or conchal overgrowth requiring conchal bowl reduction. Given the many techniques available, otoplasty requires an artistic eye and thorough evaluation to achieve your ultimate aesthetic goal.

Recovery after Otoplasty

Following the surgery, any pain or discomfort is minimal and can be controlled by medications and postsurgical care. Swelling and redness will subside over the next week or two. Postoperative otoplasty patients will be fitted with a protective bandage worn over the area for a few days. This helps to maintain the new shape and position of the ears and prevents them from being touched or bumped. Children should take a week off from school, and adults who undergo otoplasty should plan to be off work for about a week.

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Pediatric Otoplasty

Otoplasty may be the single cosmetic procedure that is performed more commonly on children than adolescents and adults. Most surgeons specialize in creating aesthetic changes in fully grown adults, but otoplasty is part of a proactive treatment plan. Many children will endure bullying and harassment due to their unique looks and are called names like “Dumbo” or “Radar,” that play on the size or positioning of the ears. Through elective surgery, patients can prevent ridicule from their peers. For this reason, many parents request otoplasty surgery for their child prior to entering elementary school at age 6, avoiding permanent psychological damage. Otoplasty is very rewarding for Dr. Rana to perform, knowing he is helping his patients improve their confidence and happiness.

Adult Otoplasty

Thousands of adults undergo otoplasty each year. These men and women describe years of torment, and some feel less attractive due to the projected position of the ears. Prior to undergoing treatment, they may have worn their hair long, or covered their head with hats that hide the ears. Often, people have avoided activities that would show off their ears, like swimming, where the ears are visible through wet, matted hair and other athletics where the hair is worn away from the face. Dr. Rana has many patients who have covered this feature their whole lives but seek professional positions in offices, etc where short hair is more appropriate or even mandatory. Otoplasty is very rewarding for Dr. Rana to perform, knowing he is helping his patients improve their confidence and happiness.


Why is otoplasty called ear pinning surgery?

One of the most common requests during cosmetic ear surgery is to reposition the ears closer to the head. This changes their forward projection and causes them to lay flatter against the head, resulting in a look of pinned ears. Otoplasty creates natural-looking results that are undetectable.

Is otoplasty covered by insurance?

Otoplasty is an elective procedure that will not change the functionality of the ears and therefore is not covered in those cases.

Can prominent ears be treated without otoplasty surgery?

Otoplasty surgery is required to permanently alter the structure of the ears. Dr. Rana must gain access to parts like cartilage to mold and suture into place. There are no nonsurgical techniques that perform similar functions.

When are the results of otoplasty visible?

Once the protective pressure dressing has been removed from the ears, patients will notice a difference in their ears. Though they may notice swelling and redness, it can take one to two weeks or longer to see the final outcome of cosmetic ear surgery.

Can otoplasty correct cauliflower ear, other ear traumas, and birth defects?

These cosmetic issues can all be successfully treated through different methods used during the procedure. While not the typical ear pinning procedure, tissue irregularities and malformation can be improved through plastic surgery of the ears.

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