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Does Ear Pinning Work And Is It Successful Long Term?

For many people, they don’t think twice about the way their ears look. But to some, the ears is all they focus on. Despite being small in comparison to the overall size of a person’s body, the ears play a crucial and influential role in not only our outer selves, but inner selves too.

Mrs Carla M Babicki  |  RGN

Last Updated On: May 6, 2023 | Published On: November 1, 2018


Medically reviewed by Mr Shivram Singh MBBS, FRCSI, FRCS (Plast), Medical Director & Lead,
Medical Advisory Committee for Manchester Private Hospital
Last Reviewed August 10th 2022

Does Ear Pinning Work And Is It Successful Long Term?

People with misshapen or protruding ears notice every millimetre of their ears and as little as a 1cm can be the difference between ears that look proportionate to their head and ears that stick out.

For many years, the method used to combat sticking out ears is ‘ear pinning’ – also known as otoplasty.

Cosmetic surgeons can reshape or pin the ears so that they do not stick out as much. This is achieved by repositioning the ear to a ‘better’ position and held in place with stitches.

otoplaty | ear pinning

If the patient does not require a change in the size of the ear, then cartilage within the ear would not need to be removed or reshaped and the procedure would be carried out with just ear pinning on its own.

The procedure takes between one to two hours to perform and the results can truly be life changing.

Not only can it change the appearance of your face and overall look, but it can also positively impact the mind and open up doors of opportunity to new hairstyles, socialising and boost confidence.

The good news is that otoplasty results are permanent, especially when the procedure is performed in adulthood.

Once the ear has grown to its full size, it is unlikely that any natural changes will occur to ears. Therefore, the post surgery look achieved after your operation will be one that can last a life time.

Here are a few points about otoplasty that you can bear in mind when considering this surgical procedure:

Otoplasty can be performed at any age with good results.

When a child reaches the age of 5, their ears are over 80% developed. This means that any age beyond this will see little change it how the ears look. Ear pinning and other procedures can be performed at any age with good results.

There is little pain.

Unlike some other surgeries, otoplasty is known for causing little pain.

Procedures are performed under anaesthetic, which means no pain is felt during the procedure and only minimal pain during recovery that can be managed with painkillers.

Perfect asymmetry is rare

The ears in general are not symmetrical and will always have minor differences in their projection and size. Whilst surgery can make ears be as close as possible to each other, they will never be exactly the same. The natural folds and contours will always be slightly different even if you do not undergo surgery.

Full recovery takes a couple of months.

Some people are misinformed on otoplasty procedures and the after-care involved. Some online communities mention that recovery can take as little as days and weeks. However, full recovery and results will take a couple of months. Following surgery, patients will be required to wear a bandage around their head – covering the ears – for up to one week. After this the bandages can be removed but a headband is required both day and night for up to one month, then at night only for another month after.

Whilst results are permanent, stitches can undo.

In most cases, ear pinning results are permanent. However, in some minority cases a stitch can come undone and require a follow up procedure to correct it.

Avoid high contact activities.

High contact activities and sports such as wrestling, grappling and mixed martial arts can have a negative impact on the ears post surgery and patients risk their stitches coming out when engaging in such activities.

Ensure you choose the right surgeon.

Due to the intricate nature of the procedure, otoplasty is a highly skilled procedure that takes years of training and experience to perfect. It’s important to research your surgeon and arrange a consultation so that you can view before and after photos of past ear correction procedures they have performed. Every millimetre counts. For more details about otoplasty, please visit:

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