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Otoplasty or ear pinning is designed to improve the appearance of the protruding ear, the poorly shaped ear or a combination of both. Commonly, one ear is more prominent than the other. This operation can be performed on children older than 4 or adults with longstanding deformity. Children entering into school age are often targets of ridicule and may be socially withdrawn as a consequence of their ear deformity. This procedure may dramatically improve the patient's self-confidence.
Surgery for otoplasty is done as an outpatient under general or local anesthesia with sedation. The procedure takes from 2 to 3 hours, depending upon the degree of the correction to achieve. All incisions are behind the ear, with no visible signs of surgery on the outward facing side of the ear. Through the back of the ear, sculpting of the ear cartilage, with or without stitch material, will be used to maintain shape. Absorbable stitches are used to close the incisions, such that no stitch removal is necessary in the postoperative period.
Postoperative bandages vary with the extent of the procedure. Usually a bulky bandage for 24 hours is placed and then removed and replaced with a light headband for wear. No drains are typically used. Some throbbing and minor bleeding are expected for the first few days. Light activity is encouraged. Pain medication and antibiotics are prescribed for pain and infection prevention, respectively. Adult return to work is approximately 1 week. This procedure has a high degree of satisfaction. We hope you enjoy your new ears.