Ear Pinning or Ear Shaping Surgery
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|GOALS||Improve the shape, contour, or size of the ears|
|PROCEDURE||Otoplasty, Ear Pinning, Ear Shaping Surgery|
|ANESTHESIA||Local anesthesia alone or with IV sedation in the operating room|
|LENGTH||About 1 hour|
|AFTER PROCEDURE||Sutures are removed in 5-7 days|
|RECOVERY||Return to school in 1 week|
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The shape and size of the ears is primarily determined by the shape and size of the cartilage forming the upper ear. The appearance of prominent ears may result from a contour irregularity of the cartilage or the distance of the ear from the side of the head. The appearance of prominent ears can be a source of dissatisfaction and even psychological distress. Unfortunately, in children, prominent ears can be a source of ridicule which may affect their peer interactions and socialization.
By age 6, the ear has typically reached 80% of its eventual adult size. If ear shaping surgery is sought, it may be undertaken as early as that time. Children become increasingly aware of their appearance and the appearance of their peers by about age 8. Some families wish to have their child's ear reshaped prior to that time. In other cases, adolescents or adults seek correction of their ear prominence at a later time.
The Aging Process
In older adults, lengthening of the earlobes can impart an aged quality. Sometimes, years of heavy earring use may exacerbate this finding.
A torn earlobe may result from accidentally pulling on an earring. Earlobe gauging or stretching with large jewelry has become trendy with some young people. In either case, patients often desire a more normal and less noticeable appearance to their earlobes.
Earlobe Repair Information
You may be a candidate for ear shaping surgery if the appearance of your ears draws unwanted attention, detracts or distracts from your other facial features, or if you find the appearance of your ears unsatisfactory.
Surgery to shape the ear is technically called 'Otoplasty' and commonly called 'Ear Pinning.' Ear surgery can re-establish the normal contour or proportions of the ear to improve the appearance of the ears and restore balance and proportion to the face. When cartilage is involved, surgery may be performed under anesthesia in the operating room. In adults wishing to shorten elongated earlobes or repair torn or gauged earlobes, surgery may be undertaken in the office under local anesthesia.
Recovery after Otoplasty Surgery
Early soreness is well controlled with oral pain medications. Sutures are removed in 5-7 days. Swelling and bruising resolve by 10 days. Headbands are sometimes recommended to aid in healing for the first few days to weeks after surgery. In most cases, children can return to school in about a week. Full activity is permissible by 3 weeks.