What is Ear Pinning & Otoplasty? Everything You Need To Know!
The number one benefit we hear after otoplasty is an increase in self-esteem. At Wellspring Plastic Surgery, we have countless patients who feel their ears are misshapen, disproportionate or need some improvement. We know that if you’re one of these patients, having ears you don’t like can really take a toll on your self-esteem.
Otoplasty is the technical term for surgery that helps improve the appearance of your ears. And Wellspring Plastic Surgery offers incredible results to our otoplasty patients. We know that informed and educated patients get the best results, so here’s everything you need to know!
What is Ear Pinning? What Is Otoplasty?
You might have heard the term “ear pinning” or “ear surgery,” let’s break down those procedures. Ear pinning, also known as ear reshaping or pinnaplasty, is a type of otoplasty procedure that focuses on correcting prominent or protruding ears.
Otoplasty, on the other hand, is a broader term that refers to any surgical procedure that aims to correct or improve the appearance of the ears. In addition to ear pinning, otoplasty may also involve correcting deformities or injuries to the ear, reconstructing the ear, or altering the size or shape of the ear.
In general, ear pinning is a type of otoplasty procedure that is specifically designed to address prominent or protruding ears. In contrast, otoplasty can encompass a range of techniques that may involve altering the size, shape, or position of the ears for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes.
Who is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
A good candidate for otoplasty is someone in good general health and has realistic expectations about the procedure. As we mentioned, if you’re informed, educated, and have realistic expectations, you’re on your way to being a great candidate!
We are able to perform otoplasty procedures on children and adults. Usually, we wait until children are age five or so. Otoplasty can be used to correct a variety of ear deformities, including:
- Prominent ears: This is the most common reason for otoplasty and refers to ears that stick out too far from the head.
- Cupped ears: This occurs when the natural folds and creases of the ear are missing, causing the ear to appear flat or hollow.
- Lop ear: This refers to ears that curl down and forward rather than standing upright.
- Shell ear: This is a rare congenital deformity where the ear is small and does not develop properly.
- Stretched or torn earlobes: If you are embarrassed by your ear lobes, we can help!
The last thing that can make you a great candidate for otoplasty is working with the whole treatment team. You should be ready to ask questions, create a plan and always listen to pre-and post-operative instructions.
The Ear Pinning Otoplasty Procedure
What will happen when you come to Wellspring Plastic Surgery for your otoplasty? When you schedule your initial consultation, you will always meet with the surgeon who will complete your procedure! This consultation appointment is an hour long. We encourage you to come with questions! Bringing a family member or loved one can also help you to feel supported!
You will work with the surgeon to create a plan! That will include where and when the procedure will take place. The treatment plan will include pre-procedure anxiety and how anesthesia will be handled during your procedure.
One benefit to having otoplasty with Wellspring Plastic Surgery is the flexibility in anesthesia and procedure settings. Many of our otoplasty procedures can be done without general anesthesia. This helps the patient in several ways:
- You’ll avoid a sizeable pre-operative evaluation and clearances.
- There is no need to fast for an entire day prior to general anesthesia.
- Without general anesthesia, we find patients recover faster and feel better sooner!
The choice of anesthesia will depend on your procedure’s complexity, medical history, and preferences.
It’s sometimes hard to wait until the day of your procedure…we know you’re ready for results! On the day of the otoplasty, you’ll be made comfortable, and then our surgeons will get to work! During an otoplasty, an incision is made behind your ear to expose the cartilage. Our surgeons are then able to sculpt and reshape the tissue. This works to create a more natural and proportional appearance. The scar is very hidden, which helps you to feel even more confident! In some cases, your surgeon may also remove excess skin to improve the contour of the ear. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We always examine your anatomy, your goals, and desires and discuss what would be the best solution for you!
At Wellspring Plastic Surgery, we are experts in otoplasty! Our surgeons are both board-certified plastic surgeons and have performed countless otoplasties. Some surgeons do plastic procedures but are not board-certified! Don’t be fooled; make sure you are getting an expert surgeon so you get the results you love!
The recovery process for otoplasty can vary depending on the extent of the procedure, but in general, patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the first few days after surgery. Depending on your specific needs and concerns, pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to manage pain and prevent infection.
We will probably send you home with a bulky or larger dressing right after surgery to protect the ears and promote proper healing. After this initial period, a lighter dressing may be applied, and you may be instructed to wear a headband or protective garment to help maintain the shape of the ears.
Most patients are able to return to work or school within a week or ten days after surgery, but strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks to allow the ears to heal fully. Remember that one factor that impacts end results is your ability to let your body heal! We need you to take it easy; that’s how to get the best results! Swelling and bruising typically subside within a few weeks, and the final results of the procedure should become apparent within a few months.
Risks and Complications
Of course, any medical procedure comes with risks. Let’s talk about how you can minimize those risks! The most important step to get great results is to work with your surgeon and the whole treatment team. Regular communication and contact will help set you up for great results. Post-surgery, most patients can return to work or school within a week or ten days after surgery. Still, strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks to allow the ears to heal fully. Remember that one of the factors that impact results is your ability to let your body heal! We need you to take it easy; that’s how to get the best results! Swelling and bruising typically subside within a few weeks, and the final results of the procedure should become apparent within a few months. Occasionally patients may experience temporary numbness or sensitivity in the ears, which should improve over time.
As we mentioned earlier, we want our patients to be informed and educated! Understanding the ins and out of the procedure helps create great results. When you come into Wellspring, ask all questions you might have. You might ask us:
- Am I a good candidate for otoplasty, and what results can I realistically expect from the procedure?
- What are the potential risks and complications associated with otoplasty?
- What type of anesthesia will be used for the procedure, and what are the associated risks and side effects?
- How long will the procedure take, and what is the expected recovery time?
- What type of scarring can I expect after otoplasty, and how can I minimize scarring?
- Can I see before-and-after photos of previous patients who have had otoplasty with you?
- What is the total cost of the procedure, including fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, and facility?
- What is your experience and training in performing otoplasty, and are you certified by a recognized board of plastic surgery?
- How should I prepare for the procedure, and what post-operative care will be required?
- How often will I need to follow up after the procedure, and what long-term results can I expect?
Cost and Financing
At your initial consultation, you will speak with Wellspring Plastic Surgery office staff about financing and the cost of surgery. It’s hard to give an exact quote here because each case is unique. For example, if you have your procedure in our procedure room, it will be a different cost than under general anesthesia.
We want our patients to look and feel their best soon! Therefore, we work with Care Credit! This is a way to pay for your procedure over time. You’re able to gain confidence today and pay after! Don’t hesitate to contact our office with any financing questions; we’d love to support you!
Otoplasty at Wellspring Plastic Surgery
We would love to help you gain confidence and self-esteem. Otoplasty is just one of the ways we empower positive change! Wellspring Plastic Surgery is here to help, so reach out, and let’s talk soon!