Otoplasty

You may be a candidate for ear pinning (otoplasty) if you have ears that stick out too far from the side of the head. You may also want to have an otoplasty procedure if your ears have an unusual or undesirable shape. The goal is to create ears that have normal folds and shape with a normal level protrusion from the side of the head.

Otoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis under sedation and local anesthesia. The ears are usually bandaged with a head band type dressing for several days after surgery. Initial mild postoperative discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. The procedure is appropriate beginning at age 5 or 6 or at any time thereafter. The ears usually look "normal" within 10-20 days. Usually, a head band is worn for 2-3 weeks to protect the ears. Contact sports should be avoided for about a month.

Ear pinning is considered to be cosmetic and so is usually not covered by insurance. The specific risks and the suitability of otoplasty for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.


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