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Ear Pinning

Ear Pinning

The exterior ear is brilliantly designed to enhance our ability to hear. However, when ears protrude further from the head than normal, or are disfigured, they can be a source of teasing and embarrassment. The normal amount of space between the head and the rim of the ear, called the helix, is about 1.8 cm. Patients Medical offers cosmetic ear pinning procedures, technically called otoplasty, to correct anatomical abnormalities that cause prominent or misshapen ears.

This is one of the few cosmetic procedures that can be done on children, as well as adults, because it has no negative impact on future ear growth and can prevent them from bullying and self-esteem issues as they grow older. Whether performed on a child or adult, ear pinning creates a naturally shaped ear that is in ideal proportion with the patient's head and facial features.

The most common reasons for otoplasty procedures include:

  • Exceedingly large ears, a rare condition called macrotia.
  • Ears that protrude significantly more than normal on one or both sides.
  • Correcting the results of a previous, unsatisfactory procedure.

Who is the ideal candidate for ear pinning surgery?

In most cases, we prefer patients to be in good health in order to minimize the risk of complications and to ensure the ear tissues will heal appropriately. In most cases, to guarantee a smooth surgery, children will be put under general anesthesia, meaning good health especially important for young patients. Many adults choose to forgo anesthesia and have the surgery using strong local anesthetics and a mild sedative.

The ideal candidate is:

  • At least 5-years of age so cartilage is stable enough.
  • Not suffering from a chronic disease or a condition that compromises healing.
  • Not prone to ear infections.
  • A non-smoker.
  • Has a clear understanding and positive feeling about the prospective outcome.

It is important that the candidate is choosing to have ear pinning procedures to benefit their own self-image, and not due to someone else's expectations or preferences.

What is involved during an ear pinning procedure?

First, patients will meet with the doctor for a personal consultation. During the pre-surgical consultation, the doctor will ask a series of questions pertaining to medical history, current lifestyle, and the reasons why the surgery is being performed. He will also take pictures and facial measurements to prepare for the procedure. Candidates will have the opportunity to look at before and after pictures. The doctor will make recommendations as to pre-surgical diet and lifestyle changes, and may request that patients stop taking certain medications, vitamins, and/or supplements that can cause complications. Smokers are asked to refrain from smoking for at least two-weeks prior to the surgery.

During the surgery, the doctor will create or increase the antihelical fold in order to reduce over-sized conchal cartilage, located right below the upper curve of the ear. Normally, the incision is made on the back of the ear. Then the surgeon will remove sections of the conchal cartilage to achieve the desired size. Internal sutures, which are non-removable, are used to hold the cartilage sections together. The initial incision will be stitched back together.

How much recovery time is needed?

The incision will be bandaged and pain, discomfort and swelling will recede within the first week. Although the incision and stitches can become itchy, patients must leave the bandages in place to keep the surgical corrections intact. In addition to pain medications, patients are advised to eat well in order to facilitate their body's healing process.

Post-Operative Recovery and Treatment

Additional post-operative treatments offered at Patients Medical include:

These treatments can enhance the body's natural healing processes and reduce inflammation and scarring.


Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical

Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.

To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call us at 1-212-794-8800. We look forward to hearing from you.

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