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When should you consider ear pinning surgery? 

Having disproportionately shaped or protruding ears can trigger significant anxiety and stress, particularly among children. Both in adults and in children, ear pinning surgery is the solution capable of resolving this issue and reinstating confidence. 


What is ear pinning?  

Ear pinning, also known as otoplasty, which translates to “shaping of the ear”, is a surgical procedure aimed at altering the shape and positioning of the ears. It can address various concerns, including protruding ears and cartilage deformations.  


Although earlobe corrections can be part of traditional otoplasty, they can be done for completely different indications related to age and or trauma as well. In such cases, the surgical goal can be either correction of enlarged or deflated earlobes or repair of enlarged or torn holes from earrings and piercings. Refining the shape and texture of earlobes gives a more balanced facial aesthetic. 


Am I a good candidate?  

Typically, traditional ear pinning surgery is conducted in adults and in children ranging from 4 to 14 years old. Since ears are nearly fully developed by age 4, earlier surgical intervention minimizes the potential for teasing experienced by the child. Usually, it is the child expressing the desire for an aesthetic correction. Ear pinning surgery is also possible for adults, with no significant increase in associated risks for healthy older patients.  


Your consultation:  

The first step in considering ear surgery is scheduling a consultation. During this appointment, we will discuss your medical history, current health conditions, and medications. A thorough examination of your ears will be conducted to determine the best options for you. Expectations will be openly discussed to ensure you are fully informed before making any decisions.  


You will learn about the surgery, its limitations, and risks, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs and concerns. Your medical history will be reviewed to identify any potential risks for complications such as bleeding. It's important to provide complete information about your medical background, including allergies, previous surgeries, current medications, and supplements. 


The procedure:  

We can employ various techniques during ear pinning surgery. One common approach involves a hidden incision made at the back of the ear to access the cartilage. This incision is used to correct the insufficient or missing fold in the upper part of the ear. A small piece of skin is removed, and the cartilage is reshaped and fixed in position with sutures. Sometimes, a small piece of ear cartilage is removed as well. Asymmetries are corrected as much as possible during the operation.  


In select cases, which require only a rotation of the ear without any reshaping, a less invasive approach can be used. This technique reduces swelling and bruising, along with a shorter recovery. Alternatively, in cases where only reshaping of a particular part of the ear and no rotation is required, an anterior approach with minimal dissection can be used. This shortens the surgery time. The scar is elegantly hidden in a shadow area of the ear and the procedure does not remove any skin.  

The duration of the ear pinning surgery typically ranges from one to two hours, contingent upon its complexity. Following the procedure, bandages are applied and gently wrapped around the head for the first night in most cases. After this, a protective head band is worn to prevent ears from accidentally folding back. 


Recovery and results: 

Recovery from ear pinning surgery is relatively quick and involves moderate discomfort compared to other cosmetic procedures. During the first week a head band is sometimes worn 24/7 or often only during the night, to protect the healing ears, depending on the surgical technique. Next, the headband is usually worn during the night for an additional three weeks. Sutures are typically removed after a week, with some redness, swelling, and bruising expected for a few weeks. 

Pain can be managed with a long duration nerve block in addition to prescribed oral painkillers such as Ibuprofen. Patients can generally resume normal activities within a few days but should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. Smoking and certain medications should be avoided to optimize healing. You will see your full results once the swelling goes down.  


If you'd like to learn more about ear pinning surgery, don't hesitate to contact us for further information. Patient satisfaction and trust are our top priorities, while we aim to provide long-lasting and beautiful results! 

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