Ears that look overly prominent or too large compared to other facial features feel embarrassing. This can be even the case in children, who may be subjected to more aggressive teasing from their peers. Ear pinning surgery, or otoplasty, can improve the shape and profile of the ears to make them less conspicuous and more flattering, helping to improve self-confidence in children and adults alike.
Recognized as a cosmetic ear surgery specialist and one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Mobile-Pensacola metro area, Dr. James Koehler is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving patients from Gulfport to Gulf Shores and beyond. Dr. Koehler offers a wide range of plastic surgery procedures for both men and women, and is known for his caring commitment to a patient-first approach.
Are You a Candidate?
If you have unusually prominent ears, ears that protrude excessively or are asymmetrical, you may be a candidate for otoplasty. Ear pinning surgery can be performed in adults or in children as young as 5 or 6. In additional to physical maturity of the ears, children must have the emotional maturity to leave bandages in place and understand the importance of proper post-operative care. If the appearance of the earlobes is of concern as well, otoplasty can be combined with earlobe repair at the same time. The best candidates for ear pinning should be in good general physical and mental health, and have realistic expectations about their results.
About Ear Pinning
Cosmetic ear surgery can help improve not only the physical appearance and placement of the ears, but can also improve the quality of life for children or adults who feel embarrassed about their ear shape or profile. A relatively simple surgery, ear pinning makes a subtle yet distinct change in your appearance that can help bring all the facial features into a more aesthetic alignment.
Otoplasty can also be performed to correct congenital defects in ear structure, or repair abnormalities due to previous trauma or injury. The primary goal of ear pinning surgery is to create or restore a natural shape to the ear brings the ears into better balance with the rest of the head and face. Even very minor corrections can have a tremendous positive impact on physical appearance as well as self-image.
What to Expect
Cosmetic ear surgery begins with a consultation at Dr. Koehler’s office to discuss your goals, or the goals you hope to see after your child’s surgery. Dr. Koehler will perform a physical evaluation to determine candidacy for the procedure, and discuss the possible options and decisions that you may need to make ahead of time.
Ear pinning can be performed under general anesthesia or using a local anesthetic plus sedation, depending on the age of the patient and your personal preferences. The surgery itself typically requires one or more incisions made within the natural creases of the ears. There are a number of different ways Dr. Koehler can improve the ears, depending on the reasons for choosing surgery in the first place. Tissue and cartilage can be reshaped, often pulling the ear closer to the head and using sutures to secure the new position during healing. Excess skin and cartilage may be removed during surgery as well. Finally, incisions are closed using sutures, and post-surgical dressings are applied.
Dr. Koehler takes care to ensure that the level of correction is just enough to create a very natural look after healing. The surgery is usually relatively quick, lasting just an hour or two depending on the complexity of the procedure.
After surgery, Dr. Koehler will have you wear a dressing for a day or two after surgery, and then recommend a special headband be worn for the next several weeks: full-time at first, and later just overnight. The headband helps protect the healing ears as well as offer additional comfort during recovery. You should avoid contact sports and vigorous physical activity for a month after surgery, but normal daily routines can resume within 1-2 weeks.
Risks and Complications
The risks associated with ear pinning surgery are minor, and include the possibility of asymmetrical results, infection or poor wound healing. More serious risks are possible, and may include complications related to anesthesia, irregular contours or the need for revision surgery, but these are rare. Dr. Koehler will discuss all the risks and benefits with you before your or your child’s otoplasty so you’re informed about what you can expect.
Your New Look
Ear pinning delivers immediate results that can be seen once bandages are removed. Ears should look smaller, sit closer to the head and appear more proportionate compared to the rest of your facial structure. Most importantly, you can give you or your child the gift of improved self-image and a freedom from teasing and bullying due to the appearance of unusually prominent ears.