The secrets of otoplasty: How to make yourself ‘ear-restistible’


It may only be the tenth most requested cosmetic surgery procedure by men and women, but it can make a world of a difference to confidence levels.

Ear surgery – ear pinning, ear correction, ear reshaping, pinnaplasty or reconstructive otoplasty – has and does transform the lives of many. The surgery is more popular with men (number five in the top 10 list) and is performed under a local anesthetic with a sedative.

And it is not exclusively about ears that stick out. Anyone who is unhappy with the size, shape or position of their ears may benefit from ear correction surgery. The shape is altered by removing the skin, reshaping the cartilage underneath and stitching the ears.

The benefits are endless. Most significantly, it boosts your confidence and self esteem. This means no more hiding your ears with your hair – instead, decorate them with pretty jewellery. And wave goodbye to those unkind jibes of the past.

The science behind it is simple enough. To begin ear pinning surgery, an incision is made in the ear to expose the cartilage (what forms the ear underneath the skin). To reduce any projection, a sliver of cartilage is removed from this area before the remaining cartilage is resutured (stitched together), leaving the ears positioned closer to the sides of your head. Sometimes, only sutures are necessary and there is no need for removing any cartilage.

As with many cosmetic procedures, there are no age barriers if you are seeking surgery – so long as you are physically and psychologically fit. It may be that it has taken years for you to finally decide to address something that, aesthetically, you simply don’t like about yourself. And that’s okay!

In fact, it is important that you take the time to do your homework, read up on the surgery and find the best qualified surgeons in your area. As with any invasive cosmetic surgery, your commitment and consent is paramount to any successful outcome.

Otoplasty surgery usually takes between two and three hours to complete under general anaesthetic. Another bonus is that the risk factor is generally low. However, they do include infection in or around the surgical wounds, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthetic, unbalanced ears, scarring and a blood clot on the ear itself.

And when it comes to scarring, only a small minority of patients experience angry red scars called ‘keloids’ – but these can easily be treated with massage, steroid therapy or moisturising cream.

If you are an adult considering ear pinning surgery, choose a plastic surgeon who specialises in this procedure. Always see a fully accredited consultant plastic surgeon who is on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council to ensure the job is done properly and avoid risks.  

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