During your consultation with Dr. Hoefflin, an individual analysis, along with digital photography, will allow him to provide you with his professional expertise and surgical recommendations. At the same time, your aesthetic goals will be discussed at length. Customized literature that discusses the otoplasty or ear enhancement procedure in detail will be provided. Otoplasty or “ear pinning” is a surgical procedure in which large or prominent ears are sculptured and brought in closer to the head to correct their appearance. Whether undesirable ear shape or size is the result of heredity or developmental abnormalities, the operation can be performed both in adult and children, five to six years of age or older. The goal of the operation is to restore the normal shape and folds of the ear with a normal level of protrusion from the side of the head.
Dr. Hoefflin performs ear enhancement surgery or otoplasty procedure on an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with deep sedation, administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. The procedure usually takes about one hour, depending upon the desired level of correction and sculpting. All operations are performed in fully credentialed and state-of-the-art surgical facilities.
During your ear surgery procedure, well-concealed incisions are made behind the ear. The ear cartilage is then sculpted, reduced, or augmented, depending on your particular anatomy. Either absorbable or permanent sutures are used in the cartilage to maintain the ears position and shape. The skin incision is closed with a combination of absorbable and removable stitches. While still asleep, a long-acting local anesthetic is injected, which provides several hours of numbness and prevents discomfort after surgery.
Following surgery a form-fitting dressing is worn around the head and ears for several days. Once the dressings are removed, a head band is worn for several days to protect the ears. Head elevation is encouraged to minimize any swelling and bruising. Stitches are removed between 5-7 days.
Most patients tell us they feel much better than expected following their surgery because of the long-acting anesthetics and nerve blocks. Patients generally are able to return to work after 5 days. Light exercise can be resumed after several weeks and unrestricted activity within six weeks. Contact sports should be avoided for about a month.
When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, the risk of serious problems after ear surgery, ear pinning, or otoplasty are rare. Most complications are minor, temporary, and can be easily resolved with conservative treatment and time. Specific risks and the suitability of the otoplasty procedure for a given individual can be determined at the time of consultation. You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
In most cases otoplasty is deemed an elective procedure, therefore, insurance companies do not normally cover the cost. If the surgery is performed to correct a disfiguring birth defect, however, the expenses may be totally or partially paid by your insurance carrier.
To learn if you are a candidate for ear pinning or ear surgery, contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hoefflin for a complimentary consultation.
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