Many people struggle with protruding or misshapen ears. For children, this often results in teasing, bullying and even physical harassment, which can be traumatic, crippling their self-esteem and academic performance. Fortunately, otoplasty, more commonly known as “ear pinning,” is a simple and safe procedure for reshaping the ears into a more normal position and appearance.
Deciding if Ear Pinning is Right for You
Ear pinning can be done on children who are four years old and up, and the procedure may be performed on teens and adults. Protruding or misshapen ears do not just lead to bullying and other mean-spirited or hurtful treatment. They can also cause discomfort or inconvenience for the patient when dressing, grooming their hair or sleeping.
If you are considering ear pinning surgery for yourself or your child, there are a few things to keep in mind. Patients must be in good psychological and physical health, and your expectations for the results of the surgery must be realistic. For children, ear pinning surgery typically requires them to be absent from school for one week to allow for proper recovery.
The Ear Pinning Procedure
In most cases, ear pinning is done as outpatient surgery. General anesthesia is usually used for child patients, while local anesthesia and IV sedation are typically used for adult patients. In order to perform the procedure, Dr. Tarola will create small incisions behind the ears, which will be naturally hidden by the folds of the skin. These incisions allow him to gain access to the ear cartilage, which acts as the ears’ supportive structure.
Using this approach, Dr. Tarola is able to manipulate and reshape the cartilage in a way that provides a more normal ear shape and position. Ear pinning surgery is frequently done on both ears to ensure a uniform appearance. Once the ears have been appropriately altered, the incisions are sutured closed, and a special bandage is applied that is designed to hold the ears in their new position throughout the healing process.
What to Expect
After surgery, we will give you after-care instructions. It is necessary to rest for a day afterward with your head elevated. You will also be required to change the bandages regularly and avoid any activities that could rub, bump or otherwise cause trauma to your ears. Vigorous exercise should be avoided right after the surgery, but your surgeon will likely recommend gentle walking. Within a few weeks, you can go back to your normal exercise routine. The results of the surgery will also become fully apparent during this time. As with any surgery, ear pinning carries some risks, although they are uncommon. These can include scarring, infection and bleeding.
If you or your child struggle with protruding or misshapen ears, you should know that help is available. At Tarola Plastic Surgery, our medical team will work with you and your child to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan. Contact Tarola Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation.