The UNC Aesthetic & Laser Center

Ear Pinning Surgery (Otoplasty) NC

Otoplasty is also known as ear pinning surgery, or pinnaplasty. The procedure is conducted in order to reshape prominent ears, most often in children ages 4-14 with fully developed ears, although the surgery can treat adults as well. The main goal of the procedure is to prevent or end teasing that young children with protruding ears often experience.

What is Otoplasty?

During otoplasty, a plastic surgeon reshapes the cartilage behind the ear to hold the ear back and diminish their prominence. Depending on the specific shape of the individual’s ear, a small amount of cartilage may be removed from the back of the ear prior to suture placement.

Who Can Benefit?

Otoplasty may be an option for you or your child if protruding ears are a hindrance to everyday life. If you think that your ears or your child’s ears are protruding to an abnormal degree, this procedure may be an appropriate solution.

The Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure and can last between 2-3 hours. The type of anesthesia used depends on the individual, but generally adults receive local and children general.

The surgeon will first make an incision at the back of the ear in order to access the cartilage. He or she will then sculpt, fold, or remove a portion of the cartilage to reposition the ears. Finally, the surgeon will place the sutures to close the incision and maintain the new shape.

Otoplasty Aftercare

Most kids can return to school after one week, and adults can go back to work after about five days. Your child’s head will be wrapped in a bandage directly after surgery in order to promote optimal healing and to maintain the new shape of his ears. Any temporary stitches will be removed within one week. Please refer to your surgeon for more specific aftercare protocol.

Learn More About Otoplasty in Raleigh-Durham

If you have questions or concerns about otoplasty, please know that the surgeons at UNC Burn Reconstruction & Aesthetic Center in the Plastic Surgery Division, Chapel Hill, are eager and able to help. Our board-certified, rigorously trained surgeons offer their expertise and attentiveness so patients can relax, knowing that they are in good hands.

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