Ear Pinning Surgery (Otoplasty)
IN PHILADELPHIA AND NEW JERSEY
If your ears protrude excessively from the side of your head (prominent ears or outstanding ears), ear pinning surgery (otoplasty) might be right for you. This procedure can bring the ears to a more natural position closer to your head. During ear pinning surgery (otoplasty), the ear cartilage may also be reshaped to give a more normal contour to your ear.Request a consultation Photo Gallery
Dr. Lo has been performing ear correction surgery for over 30 years. He began his career at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where he performed ear reconstruction and ear pinning surgery (otoplasty) for children. Now, Dr. Lo concentrates exclusively on teenage and adult patients who did not have the opportunity to have ear pinning surgery as a child. His adult patients are extremely pleased to finally achieve the normal ear shape and position they have always desired.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS
OF EAR PINNING SURGERY?
- Repositions ears to lay naturally flatter against the side of the head
- Restores ear to normal appearance
- Increases self-esteem and confidence
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE
FOR EAR PINNING SURGERY?
If you have any of the following conditions, Dr. Lo may recommend ear pinning surgery for you.
- Ears that protrude or stick out from the side of your head
- The top half of your ear flops forward
- The upper cartilage of your ear is flat or lacking a natural curvature
- You are bothered or embarrassed by the appearance of your ears
What Does Ear Pinning Surgery Involve?
YOUR EAR PINNING SURGERY CONSULTATION
A consultation with Dr. Lo is essential before your ear pinning surgery. During this consultation, Dr. Lo will listen to your goals for the procedure and examine your ears to recommend the best technique for you. You will be able to see before and after photos of ear pinning patients to help you understand what can be achieved with the procedure.
HOW LONG DOES EAR PINNING SURGERY TAKE?
Ear pinning surgery takes about one hour.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED FOR EAR PINNING SURGERY?
You have a choice of anesthesia for your ear pinning surgery.
- General anesthesia: you are completely asleep and do not feel any pain
- Twilight sedation (the most common way to have ear pinning surgery: local anesthesia numbs the area, and you are made comfortable with medications through an IV
- Local anesthesia: numbs the area and you are completely awake
HOW IS EAR PINNING SURGERY DONE?
During the ear pinning surgery, your ears are set back closer to the side of your head at a normal angle, and your ear cartilage may be reshaped to a more natural contour.
What are DR. LO’S EAR PINNING SURGERY TECHNIQUES?
There are several components to Dr. Lo’s surgical technique to correct your ears. Based on your situation, the surgical techniques mentioned below can be used to move your ears to a normal position at the side of your head to create a more natural and proportionate ear shape and size.
IF YOUR EARS PROTRUDE FROM THE SIDE OF YOUR HEAD
Using permanent stitches underneath the skin, Dr. Lo will position your ears back to the side of your head so that they are in the normal position. A small ellipse of skin on the back of each ear is removed to help maintain this angle.
IF YOUR UPPER EAR CARTILAGE IS FLAT AND LACKS CURVATURE
The top portion of the ear cartilage is called the superior antihelical fold. If this fold is flat and lacks curvature, Dr. Lo will recreate a natural curvature in the antihelical fold, giving you a normal look to the top half of your ear.
IF YOU HAVE LARGER OR DISPROPORTIONATE EARLOBES
Your earlobe may need to be made smaller or reduced as part of your ear pinning surgery.
What should I expect with EAR PINNING SURGERY?
WHEN WILL I SEE THE RESULTS OF MY EAR PINNING SURGERY?
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM EAR PINNING SURGERY?
Ear pinning surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you go home the same day. You will have a soft gauze wrap around your head to cover your ears. When you are resting, your head/ears should be elevated at about a 45–degree angle on several pillows to promote healing.
When is my EAR PINNING SURGERY POST–OP APPOINTMENT?
Your first post–op visit is two days after your ear pinning surgery, at which time Dr. Lo will remove the head/ear dressing. At this time, you will be able to see the early results of your ear pinning surgery. Patients are happy to see their corrected and reshaped ears, although there may be some swelling, mild redness, and bruising.
You will continue to have additional post–op visits with Dr. Lo to monitor your healing at one week, one month, and three months after ear pinning surgery.
When can I resume activities after EAR PINNING SURGERY?
After your initial post–op appointment with Dr. Lo, you can wash your hair, take a shower, and allow water to run over your ears. You will be advised to wear a light compression sweatband over your ears for four weeks at home and at night.
After ear pinning surgery, you can restart normal activities that are not strenuous, but you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for two weeks. Walking is fine, and light weightlifting may be started at two weeks. You should not participate in contact sports for four to six weeks, especially any sport that may pose a risk to your ears.
ARE EAR PINNING SURGERY RESULTS PERMANENT?
Dr. Lo’s technique reshapes your ear to make it more natural looking. Because your cartilage is reshaped, the long–term results are more lasting. It does not depend on sutures/stitches that may be felt, break, or begin to extrude or come out of skin over time.
Otoplasty Surgery FAQ
Two weeks before ear pinning surgery, you should stop taking all medications that can increase bleeding such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. All herbal medications should also be stopped, as they can cause bleeding and interfere with anesthesia.
Some patients will intentionally grow their hair longer to cover their ears since after ear pinning surgery the ears may be swollen, bruised, and red for one to three weeks.
Asymmetry is part of the natural human body, and your right ear and left ear after ear pinning surgery will not be exactly the same or even. The ears will look good after the ear pinning surgery, and patients are pleased with the results, but the right and left ear will have minor differences in shape, size, and the amount of setback in relation to the side of the head. This is normal.
After ear pinning surgery, your pain should be minimal. Most patients just take TYLENOL® or acetaminophen for the pain. You will be given stronger pain relief medication if you need it. The head/ear wrap may be uncomfortable, but it is quite tolerable and removed after just 24 to 48 hours.
Once the head/ear dressing is removed two days after your ear pinning surgery, you should be able to return to work or school as long as you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities. During this early healing period, your ears may be swollen, red, and bruised. If you have long hair, it can cover the ears as they are healing.
Most patients will take about five to seven days off work or school.
Complications after ear pinning surgery are not common. Risks include bleeding, infection, temporary and permanent loss of feeling to the skin of your ear, skin discoloration, and healing problems.
Dr. Lo performs all ear pinning surgery in the safety and sterility of Pennsylvania Hospital Tuttleman Surgery Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, and accredited surgery centers in the region. It is an outpatient surgery, and you go home the same day.
The cost of ear pinning surgery including Dr. Lo’s surgical fee and the hospital and anesthesia fee is approximately $7,300. This does not include prescription medications or sweatbands.
Different forms of payment and financing are available.
Choosing your plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions you can make during your plastic surgery journey. Plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification ensures that the surgeon has met rigorous academic, professional, and ethical standards and is, therefore, highly qualified to perform your surgery.
Before choosing a surgeon for your ear pinning surgery, you should do your research and ask questions to ensure that you feel comfortable with the decision. Ask to see ear pinning surgery before and after images to make sure you are happy with the results you see.
Dr. Adrian Lo is a top board-certified plastic surgeon in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Aesthetic Society (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).
Visit Dr. Lo’s photo gallery to see ear pinning surgery before and after pictures of Dr. Lo’s patients.
Would You Like More Information About Otoplasty?
If you have any questions about otoplasty and what it can do for you, call (215) 829-6900 or fill out our online contact form. Dr. Lo offers otoplasty (ear pinning surgery) for patients in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, including the cities of Philadelphia, Marlton, and Cherry Hill.