Otoplasty - Ear Pinning
The following information about Otoplasty is provided for Pasadena and Riverside area residents courtesy of Dr. Stewart Wang, board certified plastic surgeon.
Ear pinning or otoplasty is a form of ear surgery performed to set disproportionately large or prominent ears closer to the head. Too much cartilage in the concha, the bowl-shaped portion of the ear and lack of development of the natural folds of the ear (antihelix) are the usual causes of large, protruding ears.
You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Wang to discuss yours or child's ear condition privately. Dr. Wang will be able to discuss your options and answer any of your questions. You can request a consultation online or call Wang Plastic Surgery at (888) 360-6688 to schedule your appointment.
Protruding ears cause more image problems than any real medical problems. It is commonly sought for children who often suffer from the unwanted attention protruding ears can cause. Children are excellent candidates because their ear tissue is very flexible. Although the procedure is more common among children, almost anyone can achieve successful results with ear pinning.
What are the common benefits of ear pinning?
Ear pinning improves the proportion of the ears to the size and shape of the head. The procedure does not alter hearing.
How is ear pinning performed?
While the patient is under general anesthesia (young children) or local anesthesia and sedative (adults and older children), Dr. Wang makes an incision in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head, just behind the ear. If necessary, Dr. Wang will remove excess cartilage and skin. If no removal is required, Dr. Wang will trim the cartilage to shape it to a more proportionate form, then pin the cartilage back with permanent sutures.
How long does ear pinning take?
Ear pinning usually requires two hours of surgery.
What can I expect after ear pinning?
After surgery, most patients experience aching or throbbing of the ears for a few days, as well as a small scar that fades with time. Patients should not expect perfect symmetry of both ears, since this is not likely in even natural ears. However, a more balanced look can be achieved. Read Dr. Wang's advice about recovery from surgery.
What is the recovery period like?
After ear pinning, patients are usually mobile within a few hours of surgery. The head will be wrapped in bulky bandages immediately following surgery, but within a few days these will be replaced with a lighter, headband-like dressing. Stitches are usually removed in about a week. Patients should avoid sleeping on their sides for a week or more so as to avoid putting pressure on the ears, as well as any activity that bends the ears for a month. Read Dr. Wang's advice about recovery from surgery.
How long before I can return to normal activity?
Most children can return to school in about seven days, but they must be careful while playing. Adults can return to work approximately five days after surgery.