• Jay M. Pensler, M.D.
  • Chicago Plastic Surgeon
  • 680 North Lake Shore Drive
  • Suite 1125
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • 312.642.7777
  • info@plasticsurg.org
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Ear Surgery - Otoplasty

Cosmetic ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce the size of large ears or pin back ears that protrude too far from the head. Commonly referred to as "ear pinning," this plastic surgery procedure can greatly enhance a person’s appearance and self-esteem. Read the information below to learn more about cosmetic ear surgery, including the steps involved in the procedure, recovery time, cost, and more.

Most cosmetic ear surgery patients are children between the ages of four and fourteen. The ears are fully grown by age four, and the sooner a child undergoes otoplasty, the less teasing and embarrassment he or she will experience growing up.

The type of incisions used for ear surgery will depend on the problem, and even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance. For one of the common techniques, a surgeon makes a small incision in the back of the ear to expose cartilage, then sculpts the cartilage, bending it back toward the head; occasionally removing a larger piece of cartilage to provide a more natural-looking fold. Another technique involves a similar incision in the back of the ear, skin removal, and stitches used to fold the cartilage back on itself to reshape the ear without removing cartilage.

Otoplasty involves one of the shortest recovery times of any plastic surgery procedure. Once the bandages are removed after the surgery, ear surgery results will be immediately visible. It is imperative that patients closely follow their surgeon's instructions and not tamper with or remove postoperative bandages before the surgeon allows.

To learn more about cosmetic ear surgery, including the cost of otoplasty and the risks associated with ear plastic surgery, it is important to speak with a skilled plastic surgeon. We encourage you to visit us and locate a cosmetic surgeon suitable for you.Most patients, young and old alike, are thrilled with the results of ear surgery. But keep in mind, the goal is improvement, not perfection. Don't expect both ears to match perfectly-perfect symmetry is both unlikely and unnatural in ears. If you've discussed the procedure and your expectations with the surgeon before the operation, chances are, you'll be quite pleased with the result.