Otoplasty Can Enhance Large, Protruding Ears for Both Children and Adults

Symmetrical, proportionate ears can have a huge impact on your appearance and self-confidence. Kimberly Henry, MD, can perform otoplasty at her San Francisco, CA-area practice. During this procedure, she can reshape or reposition large, protruding ears on patients as young as five years old. In this way, she can not only make cosmetic improvements, she can also give young children the self-esteem they desperately need during their formative years. Otherwise known as “ear pinning,” otoplasty is minimally invasive. Therefore, it poses very few risks, and recovery time can be quite short. During all of her procedures, Dr. Henry is committed to personalized care. Therefore, she will plan a customized procedure for realistic results, and she can closely monitor your recovery.

A young child with proportionately shaped ears

Candidates for Otoplasty

An otoplasty can address a number of cosmetic issues, including:

  • Disproportionately large ears
  • Protruding ears
  • Pointed or unusually shaped ears
  • Unsatisfactory results from a previous surgery

As a candidate for otoplasty, you should be in generally good health with no history of a skin disease, bleeding condition, or autoimmune disease. You should also be a non-smoker, and you should have realistic expectations for what the procedure can accomplish.

Unlike other types of facial plastic surgery, ear pinning is appropriate for pediatric patients. If your child is five or older, he or she may be a candidate for treatment. Dr. Henry will conduct a thorough consultation before recommending ear surgery. She will make sure that your child understands the procedure and does not become distressed at the thought of medical treatment. 

During otoplasty, Dr. Henry can reshape or reposition large, protruding ears on patients as young as five years old. In this way, she can not only make cosmetic improvements, she can also give young children the self-esteem they desperately need during their formative years.

The Ear Pinning Procedure

According to a specific, predetermined treatment plan, Dr. Henry can create incisions behind the ears, where scarring is virtually undetectable. Occasionally, she may need to make incisions in the front of the ears. In these cases, she will hide any incisions inside the natural folds of cartilage. Through these incisions, Dr. Henry can remove excess tissue, or trim it away to reshape the outside of the ear. If you or your child has protruding ears, she can carefully place stitches to pull them in closer to the side of the head. Finally, she will close the incisions and place bandages over the treatment area.

Ear Surgery Recovery and Results

For the first several days after ear pinning, you or your child will need to wear a head bandage with padded cotton (“fluff bandages"). After this initial period, you can typically switch these out with smaller bandages. In approximately one week, Dr. Henry can remove the dressings entirely, replacing them with a special headband designed to help guide your ears into their new positions. During the initial healing process, you should get plenty of rest. While we understand that it can be difficult to keep active young children down, it is important to limit your little one’s activities. A full otoplasty recovery typically takes approximately six weeks, though you should be able to engage in most of your regular activities long before this time.

Once you or your child has completely healed, you can enjoy the dramatic benefits of ear pinning. Your smaller, newly repositioned ears could be more proportionate with your other facial features. Therefore, you may feel more confident about your appearance, affecting the way you interact with others. Your child can avoid the teasing or bullying that can come with overly large or disproportionate ears. Accordingly, he or she could possess a lifelong sense of self-assurance.

Contact Dr. Henry’s Practice Today

Contact us online to find out if you or your child is a candidate for ear pinning. To speak to us in person, you can also call our Petaluma office at (707) 778-2313, our Davis location at (530) 756-7663, or our Greenbrae office at (415) 924-1313.