Otoplasty - Ear Surgery in Washington DC

Ear Pinning Surgery

Otoplasty is the reshaping of the ear. It is a surgical procedure for any number of reasons. Ears that are disproportionately large or small, imbalanced, damaged by birth defect, overly protruding or have been injured in an accident are all treatable through otoplasty.

Often this procedure is done on children to correct birth defects or abnormalities that have become more pronounced as a result of development.

Ear Pinning FAQs

1) What is ear pinning surgery?

Otoplasty or ear pinning is a plastic surgery procedure performed on the outer ear to reshape and correct protruding ears. Your surgeon may remove cartilage and skin behind your ears and use permanent sutures under the skin to pin back your ears. Most patients seek ear pinning surgery for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. The goal of any otoplasty is to give the ears a natural shape that is balanced and proportional to the rest of the face.

The reshaping of the ear is a highly personal procedure and depends entirely on the situation of the patient and the patient’s wishes. Due to the highly visible nature of ears, the results of even slight correction can have a major effect on a patient’s feelings toward their appearance. Otoplasty rarely has any effect on hearing and is performed almost exclusively for cosmetic reasons.

2) Who is an ideal candidate for Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is an effective procedure for both children and adults. Children that make excellent otoplasty candidates have a healthy medical history free of serious illness or chronic ear infections. They can verbalize their feelings, willing to undergo the surgery, have stable ear cartilage, and at least five years old. Adult candidates should also be free of serious medical conditions, avoid smoking, and have a solid understanding of the procedure, its risks and all possible outcomes.

3) What are the steps of the Otoplasty procedure?

Depending on the severity of the ear surgery, a local or general anesthetic will be administered to ensure the patient's comfort. An incision is made on the rear of each ear to add or reshape a critical fold in the ear known as the antihelical fold. Cartilage is often removed from the largest sections of the ear. Any frontal incisions are made within the natural folds of the ear to hide the incision lines. Internal sutures are added to hold the reshaped cartilage in place and the incisions are closed with external sutures.

4) What happens after the procedure?

The ears will be bandaged following your ear pinning surgery and there may be some pain that can be treated with prescription medication. Itchiness is frequent but it is imperative that the bandages not be removed or the area scratched as this may damage the corrected area and require revisionary surgery. The results should be immediate with the bandages removed within a few weeks. The results will improve over time as the new appearance becomes more natural looking.

5) Are there any side effects?

Risks of the otoplasty procedure are infrequent but include skin irregularities, scarring, allergies to the surgical materials, pain, sensation changes, asymmetry, infection, blood clots, bleeding and poor wound healing. Any of these complications may lead to the need for revisionary surgery.

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