Ear Surgery

Latest update: February 27, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD

Details

Patients who wish to change the size or shape of their ears or create more symmetrical ears can opt for ear surgery. The procedure is also known as otoplasty or pinnaplasty. These surgeries can change the appearance of ears for a more aesthetic look.

The operation is safe and most commonly performed on children and teenagers. It is not recommended for candidates younger than five years old as their ears are still developing.

There are a few techniques used depending on what correction is desired. 

The first technique may require either general or local anesthetic. It is usually an outpatient procedure. The 1-2 hour procedure will begin with making a tiny incision at the back of the ear to reveal the cartilage. The surgeon removes some cartilage to shape the ear and suture the site bringing it closer to the head. They apply a bandage around the head and ear to help the healing process.

An alternative technique is an otoplasty with smaller incisions. This less invasive technique may not work for all candidates. Needles are inserted into the ear, where the cartilage is more flexible. Surgeons then score the cartilage and add sutures o hold the ear in its new shape or fix the cartilage to a bone behind the ear.

The bandage and stitches will be removed 7-10 days after the procedure. It is normal to experience soreness and numbness on the ear, and there may be some bruising for up to 2 weeks. Patients need to refrain from sleeping on their ears to avoid complications during the healing process. Like every surgery, ear surgery also comes with some risks. These can include scarring, asymmetry or overcorrection, and allergic reaction to anesthetic.
Anesthesia
local/general
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
n/a
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
1 week
Invasiveness
yes

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Dr. Sagar Patel, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, asks "Do you get embarrassed by your ears?". He talks about the difficulties involved with having ears that aren't shaped as the patient would like. He explains the different ways to do it and talks about how he decides which technique to use. He discusses the age of the patient and explains when it is possible to do the surgery. He talks about aftercare, cost, pain management and aftercare.

Ear Pinning Surgery After Three Months | Otoplasty Procedure with Dr. Kian

Dr. Kian Karimi is a surgeon at Rejuva Medical Aesthetics which operates in California. He guides Christine through her journey to fix the ears she has always disliked. He talks about how he is going to correct her protruding ears. The video shows the procedure and explains the steps that Dr. Karimi has to take to achieve results for Christine.