Pinnaplasty, also known as otoplasty or ear pinning, is a common form of cosmetic surgery. It is done in people of both sexes and all ages to correct ears that tend to stick out. Some people are not bothered by this but, for others, continual comments can lead to distress, particularly during school years. Pinnaplasty is a simple procedure that can correct the problem safely and quickly.

Why have pinnaplasty?

You may decide to investigate the possibility of a pinnaplasty if your ears are protruding and stick out prominently at an angle from your head. This is particularly noticeable if you have short hair, either by choice or necessity. Some people have one ear that sticks out much more than the other and a pinnaplasty on one side can restore symmetry.

Normally, we recommend that children with protruding ears are at least 5 years old before a pinnaplasty; they need to be old enough to agree to have the surgery.

Having a pinnaplasty at The London Clinic

At your initial consultation with one of our plastic and reconstructive surgeons, your ears will be examined, you will have a general health check, and you will have time to discuss what your expectations are in having a pinnaplasty.

The surgery itself is done as a day case in one of the operating theatres in our minimally invasive treatment unit (MITU). The surgery takes about one to one and a half hours and although a general anaesthetic is used for children, an adult pinnaplasty is usually done with a local anaesthetic and a sedative if required.

An incision is made just behind the ear in the natural fold where the ear joins the head. This allows the surgeon to remove cartilage and skin as required to achieve the desired effect. Cartilage can also be shaped by trimming it and pinning it with permanent internal stitches.

A dressing that looks like a turban is then put on so that the ears can be kept in their new position. This makes you feel more comfortable and reduces swelling. You will be asked to keep the dressing on for about 10 days and then come back to The Clinic for it to be removed and to have a check-up.

Full recovery only takes a month but we recommend that patients who have had a pinnaplasty avoid contact sports for another month after that.