For countless men, women, and children across the country, feeling self-conscious or anxious about their ears is a daily struggle. When a person has overly large, misshapen, or protruding ears, they often experience teasing or name-calling, which can, understandably, lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and even depression. The caring team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, understands the sensitive and personal nature of this problem and is proud to offer Northern Virginia patients otoplasty, or ear pinning, as a life-changing solution. If you or your child are ready to take the first step in fixing protruding ears, find out more about otoplasty and ear pinning here.
Why do my ears stick out?
In the vast majority of cases, protruding ears are present from birth, either being caused by genetics or a congenital deformity. In some cases, trauma may result in a protruding, asymmetric, or otherwise misshapen ear. It can be frustrating to have ears that you are unhappy with, but cosmetic ear surgery is a fantastic solution.
What is ear pinning?
Ear surgery, formally known as otoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure designed to alter the size, shape, angle, or other characteristics of the ears to give patients a more natural, appealing look. For patients whose primary concern is protruding ears, or ears that stick out, ear pinning can be highly beneficial. Ear surgery can also be used to repair damaged or stretched out earlobes due to piercings, trauma, or aging.
How does ear pinning surgery work?
During Northern Virginia ear pinning at Austin-Weston, which can be performed while the patient is either under local or general anesthesia, your experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will begin by making an incision behind the ear in order to access the cartilage. If needed, cartilage may be removed, resculpted, or repositioned to create a more appealing ear shape and size. For patients with asymmetric ears, ear surgery may only be performed on one side, though, oftentimes, the best results are achieved with bilateral surgery. To correct protruding ears, permanent sutures are placed to hold the ears in a more natural-looking position closer to the head. On average, otoplasty takes about one hour per ear, though this can vary based on the severity of the patient’s concerns, the surgical approach, and other factors.
How long is the recovery after ear pinning?
Following ear surgery, patients should expect some level of discomfort bruising, and swelling, though these symptoms can be relieved with medication and, typically, resolve within about a week. Your surgeon will also provide you with a comprehensive set of postoperative guidelines to ensure proper and efficient healing, which will likely include wearing a headband at night and avoiding certain physical activities for several weeks.
While there will be a visible improvement after the procedure, the final results of ear pinning surgery may take about 2 – 3 months to develop as the tissues continue to heal and settle.
What is the best age for ear pinning surgery?
There is technically no right or wrong age to undergo otoplasty, though many parents choose to have their child’s ears corrected before they begin grade school to avoid teasing and bullying. If the concerns are apparent at birth or during infancy, it may be possible to use splints to correct the shape and position of the ears without the need for surgery. Ear pinning can also be performed on adults at virtually any time in their lives.
Is ear pinning permanent?
Otoplasty typically provides long-lasting or permanent results, though it is important for patients to understand that surgery will not stop the aging or growth process, and patients may notice subtle changes in their ears over time.
Am I a good candidate for ear pinning in Northern Virginia?
Ideally, candidates for reconstructive ear surgery are:
- In good health
- Have protruding, misshapen, asymmetric, or deformed ears
- Are unhappy with the appearance of their ears
- Experience emotional distress due to the look of their ears
- Are seeking stunning, long-lasting results
While most children and adults with concerns about their ears can be considered for otoplasty, the best way to determine with certainty whether or not you are a good candidate for surgery is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable plastic surgeon. Call Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, VA to schedule your one-on-one consultation with one of our exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons, or take advantage of a convenient virtual consultation from the privacy and comfort of your own home. Don’t suffer from anxiety or embarrassment about your ears any longer; take the first step toward feeling more confident with an ear pinning consultation today!