What Happens Before, During, and After Ear Pinning Surgery?

Ear pinning, or otoplasty, alters the position or shape of the ears.

At Burgess Plastic Surgery, Dr. Elisa Burgess, a board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, regularly performs this procedure to boost her patients’ self-esteem and increase their confidence.

Are you considering ear pinning for yourself or your child? Here is a straightforward guide on what to expect before, during, and after.

Before Surgery

Pre-otoplasty, you will sit down for a detailed consultation with Dr. Burgess. In the meeting, you will discuss your expectations. You’ll also address anything in your medical history that could influence the surgical procedure or results. 

For example, ideal candidates do not struggle with issues like chronic ear infections. You should also tell Dr. Burgess if you have been diagnosed with conditions that can impact wound healing, such as diabetes or illnesses affecting your immune system. 

Keep in mind that for a child to be a good otoplasty candidate, their ear cartilage needs to be stable enough for correction. Typically, that happens around age 5.

To prepare, you might need to stop certain medications. The list includes blood thinners and anti-inflammatories, which can cause excessive bleeding. Arrange for someone to drive you home afterward as well.

During the Surgery

The ear pinning procedure usually takes 2-3 hours to complete. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what happens:

  • Administering Anesthesia: Dr. Burgess uses general or local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free.
  • Performing the Incision: Next, she makes a small cut behind the ear to expose the cartilage.
  • Reshaping the Cartilage: She then sculpts or bends the cartilage back towards the head. Sometimes, she also removes excess tissue to enhance the ear’s natural fold.
  • Stitching the Ear: She finally secures the ear in its new position with stitches.

After the Surgery

When ear pinning is finished, your ears will be bandaged for support and protection. You might feel some discomfort, but you can manage it with prescribed pain relief. 

Adults can return to work after about five days, and children should wait one week to go back to school. Dr. Burgess takes out stitches around the one-week mark if they aren’t dissolvable. She may also recommend wearing a headband to keep the ears down in the months following the procedure. 

Patients should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least four weeks post-surgery. Long-distance travel is not recommended in the first month, either.

Schedule an Ear Pinning Consultation in Portland

Do you still have questions about ear pinning? Are you interested in moving forward or learning more about it?

Contact Burgess Plastic Surgery today at (503) 699-6464 to book your consultation. Let Dr. Burgess help you achieve your desired look with the utmost care and professionalism.

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16865 Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 101
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Monday-Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday hours available by appointment

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