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Otoplasty

Otoplasty

Otoplasty (Ear Pinning) in Scottsdale & Phoenix with Dr. Weinrach

Those who were born with “normally” shaped ears do not often think about them—they are simply a part of their overall facial appearance. However, for those who were born with ears that protrude, are misshapen, or for those who have experienced trauma to one or both ears, ears can be a source of decreased self-esteem or embarrassment. For children, it can also be an instigator for bullying, low self-confidence, or body image issues.  Fortunately, those who were born with ears they feel “stick out” or who have had damage to the earlobes due to piercings or gauges, have options for improving their appearance with otoplasty, also called ear pinning. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS performs otoplasty or ear correction surgery on an outpatient basis and helps his patients regain their self-confidence.

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is simply the technical name for plastic surgery on the outer portions of the ear. Otoplasty is done to improve the position, proportion, or shape of the ear. It can correct defects in the ear structure that are present from birth, that become apparent during development, or that are the result of an accident or trauma to the outer ear. Otoplasty does not alter the inner structure of the ear and therefore will not harm (or improve) hearing. It focuses on bringing a balance and natural shape to the ears and can correct issues such as overly protruding ears, ears with abnormal folds, and large or damaged earlobes.

Want to learn more?

Make your aesthetic goals a reality. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS and his team look forward to exceeding your expectations. Schedule a personalized consult with Dr. Weinrach by clicking below.

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Want to learn more?

Make your aesthetic goals a reality. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS and his team look forward to exceeding your expectations. Schedule a personalized consult with Dr. Weinrach by clicking below.

Get Started

What to Expect During Your Ear Pinning Surgery

Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS performs otoplasty procedures on an outpatient basis. Otoplasty is almost always done using general anesthesia. Being asleep allows you to remain motionless during the procedure, which makes it as easy as possible to get the best result. Smaller procedures, such as gauged earlobe repair, earlobe reduction, or even improvement of a small ear fold can be done in the office under local anesthesia.

The great majority of incisions for otoplasty are placed on the back surface of the ear where they are not visible from the front. Corrections to the ear cartilage are then made through this incision. Abnormally flat or absent folds are improved with sutures in the cartilage. Extra cartilage that is causing the ear to “stick out” is removed and the ear is set back or “pinned” with sutures as well.

The exception to the back of the ear incision is for the repair of torn earlobes, most commonly caused by earrings, or for the repair of earlobe defects caused by gauge type of piercings. As these are injuries that involve the front of the earlobe, the repair will almost always involve incisions and sutures on both the front and back of the earlobe.

Another earlobe problem that can be addressed is what is known as the pixie ear. This is is an elongated earlobe than can occur usually from a previous facelift with incorrect tension placed on the earlobe. Here is an example of a pixie ear correction, which involved a revision facelift.

Otoplasty Results

In most cases, otoplasty produces immediate results. If the surgery was provided to correct protruding ears, the results can be seen after the dressings that support the new shape of the ear healing are removed. Surgical scars will be hidden behind the ear or within the folds of the ear and are generally invisible to others.

Otoplasty can increase self-esteem, especially for children with protruding or misshapen ears who have been teased by their peers. It can also create better facial harmony, as the ears are no longer the focal point of the face and can blend in with the rest of the patient’s features. In both children and adults, otoplasty can have far-reaching benefits that range from increased self-image, improved confidence, and a more optimistic outlook on personal interactions.

View Before and After Gallery

Recovering from Ear Pinning

Otoplasty, when completed by a professional board-certified plastic surgeon, does not have a long or painful recovery time. Patients should carefully follow Dr. Weinrach’s instructions on how to take care of their healing incisions and ears after their surgery. Avoid any force to the ears, excessive sunlight, or motion during the first few weeks of healing. Although most patients return to normal activities within one week, strenuous activity such as sports or playground activities should be avoided for 6 weeks or more until healing is complete.

Who is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is one of the few aesthetic plastic surgical procedures that can be performed on children as young as six years of age. By age six, a child’s ears are 90% of their adult size and cartilage has stopped growing. This is also the age when many children begin to get made fun of if they have overly large or misshapen ears, making it appropriate for otoplasty.

Ear pinning is not just for young children. It can also be performed on older patients who are unhappy with the shape or size of their ears. Dr. Weinrach finds that ideal candidates are those who understand the procedure, are healthy, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations.

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Dr. Weinrach is dedicated to helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals through an individualized approach to patient care and commitment to safety. His extensive experience and unique skill set produces long-lasting, natural looking results.

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Your Otoplasty Consultation with Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS

The best way to find out if ear surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Weinrach. During your consultation, he will examine your ears or your child’s ears and go over everything that will happen before, during, and after surgery. He will also talk with you about your goals for how you want your ears to look after surgery is complete. If the surgery is for a child, he will talk with both parents and the child to determine the goals for the surgery. He can also show you before and after pictures of others who have undergone otoplasty and what results they have achieved.

If you or your child have overly large or misshapen ears that are affecting your quality of life, you do not have to live with them. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Weinrach today to learn more about what ear surgery can do for you.

Otoplasty faqs

The cost of otoplasty varies greatly depending on the extent and complexity of the procedure.  Longer, more complex procedures cost more as the operating room staff as well as the anesthesiologist are all paid by the hour.  A simple earlobe repair in the office under local anesthesia costs much less than ear cartilage reshaping with set back of both ears in the operating room.  As each person is different, the best way to determine cost is to have a consultation with Dr. Weinrach in order to evaluate your concerns and determine what will be needed to correct your ears.

During the first week of otoplasty you will wear a dressing over both ears that provides some gentle compression and protection.  Light activity is recommended during the first week.  A headband is worn over the ears at night only over the next two weeks.   Otoplasty tends to be not a very painful procedure at all.

This depends on each individual situation.  An average otoplasty that involves reshaping of the fold of cartilage in the upper ear, removal of extra cartilage in the middle of the ear with setback of the ear and earlobe takes around two and a half hours to do both ears.  Simple earlobe repairs from earrings or gauges can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

While any surgery produces scars, the scar location for otoplasty tends to be very inconspicuous.  The scar is placed behind the ear for most procedures making it difficult to see.  Procedures to repair earlobes damages from earrings or “gauged earlobes” as well as earlobe reduction do usually involve a scar on the front of the earlobe as well as the back.

Any surgical procedure carries risk.  The most common risks for any surgical procedure are bleeding and infection, and these complications are extremely rare with otoplasty.

To the best of our knowledge most if not all insurance plans will not pay for the cost of otoplasty surgery.

Yes, that is definitely true.  Young children have very soft cartilage. As we age, ear cartilage becomes stiffer and less malleable. Adults can still have otoplasty; the surgery is just a bit more challenging. Dr. Weinrach has tremendous experience with otoplasty in both children and adults.

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