Ears can affect your appearance by the way in which they harmonize with your head and face. Ears that lie closely to the head and extend from the brow level to the base of the nose are the most desired. Protruding ears are a common complaint that prompts a visit to a facial plastic surgeon. Children are the most likely candidates for otoplasty, however, it can be performed at any age once the ears have reached full size. This typically occurs around the age of 5-6 years old. As even mildly distorted ears can weaken one's self-confidence, it is desirable to consider this procedure prior to a child beginning Kindergarten.
Techniques Used to Perform Ear Pinning Procedures
Otoplasty is the term used for cosmetic ear surgery performed to reshape one or both ears. There are different techniques that can be utilized to perform ear pinning or reshaping. The technique is the choice of the surgeon and is dependent upon the amount of correction that is required. These techniques can be classified into two groups: cartilage sparing and cartilage scoring (cutting).
- The cartilage scoring technique involves the creation of incisions in the cartilage to add, remove, or rearrange the tissue. A greater risk for scarring is associated with this technique, however, the scar has minimal visibility.
- The cartilage sparing technique involves using stitches and/or sutures to change the shape and position of the ear. This is a non-invasive technique that often results in smooth, natural looking ear curvatures.
Benefits of Ear Pinning / Ear Reshaping
Although the folds and convolutions of the ear serve to localize and concentrate sound waves, cosmetic ear surgery to reshape or pin back ears will not result in a noticeable change in hearing. In addition to the cosmetic benefits of ear pinning, this procedure can also boost self-esteem and self-confidence, enhancing one's overall well-being.
Ear Pinning Risks & Recovery
The risks associated with ear pinning procedures are fairly minimal. They include a risk for infection, poor healing, and the possibility of the ear deformity reoccurring. After the ear has healed, a thin, white scar may appear. However, the scar is in the natural crease behind the ear so visibility is not likely a concern.
After the procedure, a soft dressing is applied to the ear which will remain in place for a few days. During this time many patients complain of mild discomfort. Sleeping habits may be disrupted if you sleep on your side as no pressure can be placed on the ear for approximately one week. For the two weeks following surgery, a headband may be recommended to keep the ear or ears in the desired position.
Schedule Your Ear Pinning Consultation
If you or a loved one is seeking Gainesville plastic surgery, we at Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center are here to offer our expert and professional services. Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and originally from Florida, Dr. Nesmith continues to hold an active interest in the specialty of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. For over 25 years he has substantially grown his number of satisfied patients while performing reconstructive plastic and cosmetic surgery throughout North Central Florida.
Whether you have concerns for yourself or your child, contact us today to schedule an ear pinning consultation.