What Is Pinnaplasty?
Ear corrective surgery to pin back the ears is known as pinnaplasty or otoplasty. It is a minimally invasive technique whereby the underlying skin and cartilage of the ear is surgically and permanently reshaped or resized.
How Is Ear Pinning Performed?
Every ear shape and size is unique. This even goes for the right and left ears on the same person. Because of that, there are many different surgical techniques for ear corrective surgery. Pinnaplasty mostly involves working directly on the ear cartilage so the height, width and angles can be adjusted. This can be by fixing it in place with internal sutures or by surgically removing a part of the cartilage itself. The exact nature of the procedure will be determined by your plastic surgeon and discussed with you during your consultation.
One or both ears can be addressed during a single procedure. General anaesthetic may be used for more extensive corrections, but most procedures are performed under local anaesthetic, with or without sedation.
Will I Have Noticeable Scarring After Ear Pinning Surgery?
The location of the sutures will vary depending on the type of corrective surgery performed. Where possible, they will be in an inconspicuous place such as behind the ear or within a fold. This will leave minimal scarring without affecting the outcome.
Will Pinnaplasty Affect My Hearing?
Pinnaplasty is performed on the auricle, the outer part of the ear. This consists of skin and cartilage only and so it is extremely unlikely that the hearing will be impacted when the ears are pinned back.
How Long Is The Recovery From Pinnaplasty
After the short, outpatient procedure, patients can leave the clinic to recover at home. Activities are not heavily restricted during recovery from an ear corrective procedure, and most patients find they are able to work one week after treatment.
The healing process is usually painless and without complications. However, healing cartilage is like healing bone and a bandage will be needed to act like a splint, holding the ear in its new position. To prevent the ears from kinking and to ensure a speedy healing process, bandages or stabilising headbands must be worn around the clock for a few weeks after the procedure.
Any swelling, sensory disturbances or increased sensitivity to touch should disappear after a few weeks.
What Are The Risks Involved With Pinnaplasty?
Contrary to what is often assumed, an otoplasty procedure is by no means always the same, straightforward operation. The same risks apply to ear corrective surgeries as they would to other surgical procedures. These include, for example, problems with wound healing, swelling, post-operative bleeding, numbness or sensory disturbances. All possible risks and contraindications will be discussed during your consultation with our experienced, expert plastic surgeon.
Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives to Pinnaplasty?
People who want to undergo ear pinning but either would like to avoid surgery, the need for a head bandage or who simply cannot take time off work for the recovery, may benefit from a non-surgical ear pinning procedure using Earfold implants. With this method, the specifically designed Earfold implants are placed under the skin at key points on the ear in a procedure typically taking less than 20 minutes. The placement of these implants on the ear can bring it permanently into a new shape or position.
If you have an underdeveloped or absent fold in the upper ear, also known as the antihelical fold, you may be suitable for the EarFold implants. Book an initial consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss what ear pinning option will be most suitable for you.