Otoplasty: What To Know About Having Your Ears Pinned

Wanda Rice

Your head and face are the first part of the body people see. However, if we feel uncomfortable with a particular part of our head, it can often harm our self-esteem and confidence when out and about.

Many people feel this way about their ears, whether they are asymmetrical, prominent or protruding, and this can be very damaging for their confidence.

One popular option for treating ears we are not happy with is otoplasty, otherwise known as “ear pinning”. This is a common procedure people undergo at either an early age or later in life to compliment their face and balance their ear aesthetic. The procedure is most often performed on people at an early age when ear cartilage is at its most malleable.

Older adults can receive the treatment, too. If you’ve been looking for a reputable cosmetic surgeon in Sydney who can perform otoplasty, here is everything you need to know about the procedure…

Why Do People Receive Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a typically cosmetic procedure. It is not a highly complex or invasive procedure, nor is it difficult to perform. There are a range of different approaches a surgeon can take for otoplasty, and the method you choose depends on what you want to achieve and the look you hope to receive from the procedure.

Performing Otoplasty

For ears to protrude, it is typically a complication with the antihelical formation, the part that draws the ears closer to the sides of the head. Typically, otoplasty is performed to correct this problem. The procedure doesn’t usually require an incision, with ear cartilage being divided using a shallow needle before being remodeled with sutures under the skin. The outcome usually involves ears that are closer to the head and no ongoing scars.

Preparing for Your Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty, like all surgeries, comes with some considerations and precautions before undergoing the treatment. Your surgeon will ask about prior medical history/any medications you or your child might be taking. If a medication could potentially interfere with the process, your surgeon may request that they be temporarily stopped.

For adult smokers, your surgeon will request that you avoid nicotine for at least two weeks before your surgery. This is also a vital part of the recovery period as nicotine interferes with blood circulation, something that is a vital function for healing post-surgery.


It is highly likely you will need some time off work or your child some time off school. A bandage will be on for a few days after the procedure, and then a headband will be placed on the head for a month after the procedure to help with ear placement. You will soon only have to wear this bandage at night for a brief period.

Over-the-counter pain relief medication is typically fine for otoplasty, however if the pain is a bit more severe then stronger medications can be prescribed. The cartilage in adult ears is less malleable than in children, and this may make for an extended recovery period. Antibiotics will also be prescribed to help ward off infection.

Later Down the Track

You may have to return for some fine tuning at some stage – this is normal to produce the outcome that you had anticipated! Still, otoplasty has a high success rate, with many people, and kids, finishing up the process feeling good about their new aesthetic.

Your surgeon will be able to discuss the treatment further and whether it is necessary for you. Relax, ask questions and together you can decide if otoplasty is the procedure that will work for your aesthetic.

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