Otoplasties, more commonly referred to as ear pinning or ear surgery, are cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of a patient’s ears. Even though otoplasty does not affect hearing, it can provide great psychological benefits.
For anyone who has been teased about the size or shape of their ears, has had a serious ear injury, or simply wants to improve their appearance. Having an otoplasty can restore your confidence and the symmetry of your appearance. Give Dr. Robert H. Hunsaker a call at 305.279.4700 to learn more about Ear Pinning, and whether you are a candidate for the procedure!
What conditions can an otoplasty fix?
Otoplasty surgery typically serves two functions. This includes setting prominent ears back closer to the head and reducing the size of large ears. Additionally, patients who are missing ears from injury or other causes can have new ears constructed. Despite the reason for surgery, an otoplasty dramatically improves the appearance of the ears. Ear surgery may be helpful for the following conditions:
- Cupped ear or a small ear
- Earlobes with large creases and wrinkles
- Large or protruding ears
- Stretched or torn earlobes
- Lop ear where the top of the ear folds downward or inward
- Shell ear where there is no outer curve in the cartilage
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
Candidates for otoplasty at our Miami, FL office can be anyone in good health, who feels self-conscious about their ears, and wants to improve their appearance. Although the operation is most often performed on children, this procedure can be very beneficial to people of all ages. Ears are almost fully grown by age four allowing for early surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Hunsaker will discuss your goals with you so that you can achieve the ideal, but realistic results you desire.
At what age can my child have ear pinning surgery?
The only requirement for this surgery is that the ears are fully grown. As mentioned above, human ears are usually finished growing at age four. This is a good time to have otoplasty with Dr. Hunsaker 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 is otoplasty performed?
An otoplasty generally lasts 1 ½ to 2 hours and is an outpatient procedure. The type of anesthesia used typically depends on the age of the patient. Dr. Hunsaker recommends general anesthesia for very young patients, while older children can choose a local anesthesia or a sedative.
Dr. Hunsaker will first make a small incision behind the ear, in the natural crease where the ear meets the head. Then, he sculpts the cartilage and bends it into its new position to achieve the desired appearance. In some types of otoplasty, Dr. Hunsaker can remove excess skin. However, in these cases, the cartilage is left in one piece and merely bent back on itself for a smaller-looking ear.
After sculpting the cartilage to the preferred shape, Dr. Hunsaker will place sutures to hold the ear in the new position until healing is complete. Then, we wrap a bandage around the head to ensure the new positioning. To achieve better balance, both ears may be operated on even if only one has a problem.
Ear Surgery Before and After Photos
Preparing for Otoplasty
For children, Dr. Hunsaker usually opts to use general anesthesia. This alleviates problems with nervousness. We will give you instructions on eating and so forth for the night before your child’s surgery.
As for adults, you’ll need to stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, any blood thinning medications, and most supplements a week before your procedure. You’ll only be under local anesthesia with sedation, so you won’t need to fast.
When will I see results after ear pinning surgery?
When Dr. Hunsaker has finished this surgery, your ears will be fully bandaged, wrapped in special heavily padded cotton bandages, referred to as “fluff bandages.” After a few days these will be replaced with surgical dressings that need to be worn for the remainder of the first week. When these are removed, you’ll be able to see the results. Whether that means the ears are closer to the head or whether Dr. Hunsaker reshaped or repaired the ears, your results will be fully visible at that point. There isn’t much swelling involved with these procedures.
Is otoplasty permanent?
The changes made by Dr. Hunsaker are permanent. Once the ears are fully grown, which typically occurs around the age of four, any surgery after that point creates permanent changes in the ear appearance. In this case, Dr. Hunsaker will bring the ears closer to the head, making them far less noticeable. If he is reshaping the ears or repairing a torn ear lobe, for instance, these changes are also permanent.
Best surgeon, best staff and best results!!???? If I had to this all over again I would pick Dr Hunsaker’s private office. Their the best! Everything went so smoothly with no complications what’s so ever. Maria was always there for me. I knew if I had a question it would be answered within mins and sometimes even seconds!?
Recovery After Ear Surgery
Patients of all ages usually feel back to normal after a few hours, although the ears may ache or throb for a few days. Prescription medication is available to help alleviate any discomfort.
The stitches will be removed within one week. Otoplasty patients should avoid sleeping on their side for the first two weeks after surgery
After about one week following otoplasty, children may return to school and adults are often able to return to work and resume normal daily activities. After the ears have healed completely, there will usually be a faint scar on the back of the ears. However, because of the strategic placement of the incisions in ear surgery, the scars should be virtually unnoticeable and will typically fade with time.
When can I shower after ear pinning?
You can shower on the second day after your surgery at Cosmetique. You’ll need to avoid rubbing the back of the ears when showering as this may disrupt the stitches and damage your results. Since the ears will be somewhat sensitive at this point, this is probably the last thing you’d want to do anyway. All you need to do is be smart and avoid your ears when showering for the first 10 days or so.
When can I wear glasses after ear surgery?
You can put your eyeglasses back on after Dr. Hunsaker removes your dressing and stitches. This will occur from 7 to 10 days, depending on the individual.
Beyond eyeglasses, you need to avoid bending your ear or ears. For that reason, we may supply you with pads and a headband for sleeping after we remove the dressing. To minimize the chances of catching or bending your ear, you shouldn’t wear t-shirts or anything that you need to pull over your head.
Are there risks to ear pinning?
As with all surgery, there are complications associated with otoplasty. Complications are rare, usually minor, and can typically be minimized by choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon like Dr. Hunsaker and by carefully following his aftercare instructions. Patients should not expect their ears to match exactly. This is not a complication as natural ears are not identical. Complications can include:
- Blood clots can form but eventually dissolve naturally or can be treated with a needle
- Cartilage infection can occur and form scar tissue
- Scar or keloid formation
Will I have scarring after otoplasty?
For true ear pinning surgery, there isn’t a visible scar. This is because Dr. Hunsaker is able to make the necessary incision behind the ear. For earlobe repair procedures, there will usually be a fine line where the two sides were brought together. These fade very quickly.
Is otoplasty 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. We will work with your insurance company to earn the highest level of coverage possible.