Ear surgery, also known as ear pinning or otoplasty, surgically corrects the size, shape, or position of one or both ears for an improved physical appearance. For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of 4 and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age 4, and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient. Patients in the Portland metro area considering ear surgery for themselves or their child, can use this information will give them a basic understanding of the procedure: when it can help, how it's performed, and what results can be expected. It can't answer all questions, since a lot depends on individual circumstances. Patients should be sure to ask Dr. Gabriel or Dr. Champaneria during their consultation at PeaceHealth Medical Group if there is anything they don't understand about the procedure.
"After meeting 3 other surgeons, I began to get "cold feet" on having my breast defect addressed at all. Discovering Dr. Gabriel was my saving grace. He doesn't have the typical attitude of other surgeons & is very warm hearted, compassionate, & will help you understand the procedure & what is expected post-surgery. He's respectful & has an amazing spirit. He's also curated a staff that supports his standard of care. He actually made me laugh - huge given how nervous I was about surgery. :)"- E.J. / Healthgrades / Feb 28, 2018
"Dr. Gabriel and staff is the best around. From the moment you walk in you really feel well taken care of. I have always been extremely self conscious of my eyebrow because it makes me look like a grouch. I explained to Dr. Gabriel the problem area and I walked away feeling so much more confident. I also received fillers in my cheeks that really added to the dimension of my face. Dr. Gabriel is so good I travel from out of town to see him!"- K. / Healthgrades / Feb 20, 2018
"Five Stars - Dr. G is the best! So attentive and strives to make all treatments look natural and enhancing."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 19, 2018
"It has been several years since my surgeries by Dr. Gabriel, He and his staff are welcoming, warm and friendly. He had wonderful bedside manner throughout the whole process, with his staff calling regularly to check up on me. If you are looking for a doctor that treats you with dignity, respect with a side of humor, then look no further! Dr. Gabriel is it."- L. / Healthgrades / Feb 12, 2018
"Did an amazing job with my surgery. Highly recommend him."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Feb 12, 2018
Torn Earlobe Care
Ear surgery may also involve a torn earlobe. This can occur with heavy earrings or through other trauma. The surgical repair of a torn earlobe is generally straightforward. The skin cleft between the two sides of the tear is removed, and using either a skin graft or donated cartilage, a new lobe is reconstructed. Sutures are used that are placed in both the front and back of the ear and will remain intact for several weeks. Several post-operative visits may be required so that the sutures can be removed in several phases to ensure the lobe is strong and aesthetically appealing.
In the cases of protruding ears, the cartilages are reformed and sometimes supported by splints. Soft tissues may also be trimmed away. The incisions are made behind the ear to reveal the ear’s confines. The ears will be repositioned by tightening the skin and then sutured. In cases of hidden ears, when cartilages are not fully developed, manipulations may include reshaping the cartilages by pulling or repositioning while splints are placed as supports. Sometimes, tissue grafting is also necessary to render volume.
Otoplasties are performed with general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. It takes 1 to 2 hours to complete, and the patient will be sent home for recovery. The ear will be bandaged to keep the new position and shape in place. This also helps so that children cannot touch or play with their ears, which may complicate healing. Activities must be limited, especially within the first week. Scars will remain hidden behind the ears or within the natural folds if the incisions are made in front of the ear.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 3-4 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-3 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ear Surgery FAQs
The ears typically mature faster than any other part of the body, therefore, at an appropriate age and time when surgical adjustments are made, the results are generally long lasting. Even as the body changes due to age and gravity, the changes to the ear will be minimal and a secondary otoplasty is usually not needed.
When To Have Otoplasty?
On average, 5-6 year olds are ideal candidates for otoplasty as the ear will be already developed and the cartilage and tissues will still be soft, making it easy to reshape. This age is also recommended as it is a time before any schooling, which helps to avoid teasing.
One Or Both Ears?
Usually, the condition is symmetrical to both ears. The final shape that the surgery will aim for will depend on the initial structure of the ear and how cartilages are placed. If the procedure is only for one ear, the shape will be patterned after the normally formed ear.