Surgery of the ear, also referred to as otoplasty, is a procedure that helps to reduce protrusion of the ear away from the head. The premise of this procedure is bringing the ears closer to the head. This procedure is commonly performed but is not limited to children.
Reasons for Considering Ear Surgery
- Address prominent ears
- Correction of folded ear tips (lop ear)
- Reshaping of earlobes
- Treat congenital defects
- Treat an accidental injury including ear loss
How is otoplasty performed?
For ear pinning with younger patients, Dr. Lin usually opts for general anesthesia to alleviate nervousness. For adults, local anesthesia is sufficient in most cases.
Dr. Lin begins by making a small incision behind the ear in the crease where the ear meets the head. He then sculpts, shapes, or bends the cartilage into a new position to bring the ear closer to the head. If only one ear is protruding, Dr. Lin still may adjust the other ear to achieve symmetry between the two ears. Ear pinning usually only takes around one hour.
If the patient has other ear surgery needs, such as earlobe repair, different methods will be employed. These options will be discussed during your consultation.
See What Our Patients Are Saying:
“Based upon my own experience, Dr. Lin is a very talented and skilled surgeon. He was also very easy and pleasant to work with. He has a calm and reassuring manner about him and encouraged input from me which I appreciated. I would have no hesitation to return to Dr. Lin for future procedures and can highly recommend him!” -Tracy J
What is the recovery from otoplasty surgery?
Following surgery, large bandages are wrapped around the head. In this way the ears are secured in place which aids in the healing process. The bandages removed within a week and replaced with smaller dressings. Rest and limited mobility are recommended to accelerate the healing process and reduce recovery time. Patients may report pain following surgery which can be treated with oral medication. Although the occurrence of complications is rare, patients can reduce the risk of developing potential problems by carefully following the post-operative instructions.
When will I see results from otoplasty?
Your results are immediate, although you won’t be able to see them after surgery because your head will be bandaged. These wrappings will be replaced by surgical dressings for the remainder of the first week.
From there, your results will be completely visible. You will have some swelling, but your ears will be dramatically different even with the swelling.
Will there be visible scarring after otoplasty?
There is a small scar where the ear joins the head, but because this is located behind the ear it is basically invisible.
At what age can a child have ear pinning surgery?
The only requirement for this surgery is that the ears are fully grown. Believe it or not, human ears are usually finished growing at age four. This is a good time to have otoplasty with Dr. Lin because the surgery can be completed before the child begins school, where teasing could be a problem if the ear protrusion isn’t addressed.
How soon can I return to work or my child to school?
Children can usually return to school after about one week. Adults may not need that much recovery time. This varies with the patient.
Are there risks with otoplasty?
There are the same risks as with any surgery: bleeding, infection, poor incision healing, and the like. Otherwise, this is a very low-risk procedure. The satisfaction for the child (or adult) not having his or her ears protrude far outweighs any possible risks involved.
After meeting with several “top” plastic surgeons in the Boston area, my daughter and I unanimously selected Dr. Lin to perform her procedure. He could not have been better!!! He has a world-class background and a conservative thought process. In addition, he was incredibly supportive and comforting throughout. Needless to state, her outcome was as he planned and we are thrilled.- S.K.
Excellent demeanor. Listened to my concerns and made suggestions that would be best for me. Very tuned in to the patient, not rushed or pushing his advice. A 5-star dr. – P.B.
Is the procedure covered by insurance?
Otoplasty may be covered by your insurance if the surgery is to correct a congenital problem, such as a misshapen ear or asymmetry.
Simply pinning the ears, however, often is not covered. This varies by the case and the insurance company.