Ear pinning surgery

Pinnaplasty | Otoplasty

Ear pinning is a cosmetic procedure to change the shape or size of the ears, or pin them back if they stick out

Wat is a pinnaplasty?

Also called an otoplasty, ear pinning surgery is often carried out on adults, children and teenagers. ​Your ear is made up of folded cartilage, which is covered by thin skin.

If you have prominent ears, you have a lack of these cartilage folds in your ear.​

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    Ear pinning surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic on children, so they'll be asleep. Adults may have the procedure under local anaesthetic (which numbs the area) or general anaesthetic.

    Your surgeon will make a cut at the back of your ear and then reshape the cartilage to make the ear less prominent. The procedure usually takes between one and two hours, but it can sometimes take longer.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your surgeon will explain how to prepare and what will happen when you have your ears pinned back. They will measure your ears before the surgery and may take some photographs so you can compare the results after ear pinning.

    You should be able to go home the same day as your surgery but some people need to stay overnight. You should arrange to have someone take you home after the procedure. If your child is having general anaesthetic, your consultant will tell you how long they should avoid eating and drinking before the surgery. Like all procedures, there may be some risks involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    Your surgeon may place a bandage around your head to protect your ears after ear pinning surgery. You may need to wear this for one or two weeks. Your ears may ache for a few days after the operation.

    They may also feel numb but this should go within a few weeks. Most children can go back to school around seven days after ear pinning surgery. However, they shouldn't do any contact sports, such as rugby, for six weeks. Adults can go back to work after seven days.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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