Ear pinning, which is also commonly known as otoplasty surgery, is a surgical procedure that addresses ears that are rather large or prominent in appearance. During the procedure, the surgeon will reshape one or both of the ears. The ear reshaping process can be accomplished by reducing the size of the ears as well as removing any excess skin and cartilage that contributes to the prominence of the ears. The cartilage can be removed, cut, or modified using sutures in order to achieve the desired look. The final result is an ear that has a look that is smaller or more natural in appearance.
If only one ear is altered during the procedure, this is simply referred to as "otoplasty". If both ears are treated by the surgeon, the procedure is referred to as "bilateral otoplasty".
The appearance of large and/or prominent ears is a common reason for patients to want to undergo this cosmetic procedure. Many people suffer teasing or ridicule from others due to the size or shape of their ears. In order to hiding the appearance of the ears, both men and women often grow their hair long enough to cover their ears. If the ears have an odd shape, or they stick out too far from the head, many people are ashamed to have them seen by the general public.
The correction or alteration of the size and shape of the ears can benefit the self-image of a person and also give someone a greater amount of self-confidence. It also gives them the desire and confidence to wear their hair in a different style instead of simply growing it to hide the appearance of their ears from others.
The surgery is usually performed on children from the ages of four to fourteen as well as on adults who did not have the opportunity to have the procedure as a child. The ear cartilage can also be altered in babies that are only two to three weeks old. The ear cartilage will start to harden at six or seven weeks of age, so the cartilage molding procedure needs to be performed before that time period has passed.
Ideal candidates can include both kids and adults who are often teased about the look of their ears and want to make a change in their appearance.
Before the start of the ear pinning procedure, the surgeon will perform an examination of the ears in order to determine their current condition. The doctor will need to assess the current shape and size of the ears as well as their relationship to the scalp of the patient. The surgeon will also discuss the desired final results with the patient. The type of results that the patient wants to see, along with the current condition of the ears, will help to determine the best ear pinning technique to provide the desired results.
Once the surgery is completed, the doctor will place a secured bandage around the ears to help hold them into their new position. There will also be some swelling and bruising around the treated area.
Once the initial bandage is removed, a soft headband will need to be worn that covers the ears and also holds them in their new position. Patients do not need to sleep on their side when they go to bed as this can damage the new position of the ears.
The ears will start to look better after two or three weeks. Patients can return to work or school after a week of recovery time. The full recovery period can take anywhere from four to six weeks.
It can take up to a year to see the final results of surgery to pin ears back against the head. The final appearance of the ears should last a lifetime as long as the ears are not injured or suffer some sort of accident. The extent of the results varies per patient and the surgeon will set realistic expectations before the final decision is made to have ear pinning surgery.