Cosmetic, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery/Ear Pinning (Pinnaplasty)

Surgery is used to create a natural and symmetrical looking appearance

Pinnaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that can help people overcome the embarrassment and distress caused by irregular shaped or protruding ears. Ear pinning surgery is used to create a natural and symmetrical looking appearance. 

Pinnaplasty is performed under local anaesthetic and takes approximately one to two hours. The consultant will make a small cut at the back of the ear and peel off some skin from the cartilage. The shape of the cartilage is changed so that the ear is closer to the head. The consultant can also correct the symmetry of the ears. The wounds are then closed with stitches and a dressing is applied. 

The pinnaplasty procedure is popular with all ages, however the treatment is not suitable for children under the age of eight. 

At 152 Harley Street, ear pinning surgery is carried out under Local Anaesthetic in our state-of-the-art day case theatre and you will be able to leave shortly after your procedure.

A pinnaplasty is suitable for everyone aged eight or older who want to change the position of their ears to improve the appearance and remove any embarrassment that may be felt.

Pinnaplasty is performed by stitching the cartilaginous structure from behind the ear. Surgical incisions are ordinarily placed behind the ear in the natural crease (where the ear margin joins the side of the head). If necessary, small pieces of cartilage are removed and then the ear is stitched into its new position closer to the head.

Pinnaplasty may be a good decision if you have prominent or protruding ears that cause you to feel self-conscious or unhappy with your appearance.  

You should also have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure and understand the limitations and potential risks associated with the surgery.  

Candidates should be at least eight years old, as this is the age when the procedure can be safely performed under local anaesthetic.

The consultation process is an essential step in the pinnaplasty journey as it allows the surgeon to assess your eligibility for the procedure, provide personalised recommendations, and help you understand what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. 

The first step of the consultation is a comprehensive medical evaluation where the surgeon will review your medical history, including any medications you are taking, past surgeries, and any underlying health conditions. It is important to be honest and provide accurate information, as this will help the surgeon determine your eligibility for the procedure and ensure your safety. 

Next, the surgeon will examine your ears, facial structure, and skin quality to determine the extent of correction needed and discuss the realistic expectations of the procedure.

The surgeon will examine the size and shape of your ears, their position in relation to your head, and any asymmetry that may exist. They may also take photographs to use as a reference during the planning and surgical process. 

After the physical examination, the surgeon will discuss the details of the procedure, including the techniques used, anaesthesia options, potential risks and complications, and recovery period. The surgeon will provide you with personalised recommendations based on your goals and expectations, as well as your individual anatomy and medical history. They may also show you before and after photos of previous patients who have undergone pinnaplasty to help you visualise the potential results. 

The consultation process is also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the procedure, including the surgeon’s experience, the recovery period, and any concerns you may have. You should be prepared to discuss your lifestyle, including any physical activities, work schedule, or social commitments that may affect your recovery process.

An Otoplasty and a pinnaplasty are simply different names for the same cosmetic treatment.

Procedure Overview
  • Cosmetic surgery to change the shape and size of the ears, allowing patients to gain a more natural and symmetrical look 
  • The procedure involves stitching the ears into a new position in order to achieve the desired outcome 
  • Procedure performed under local anaesthetic  
  • Typical procedure takes between 1 to 2 hours  
  • After 6 weeks, patients should be completely recovered  
  • You will have an initial consultation with an expert specialist in this area 
Patient and doctor

During pinnaplasty, you will be under local anaesthetic and therefore no pain or discomfort will be felt during the procedure. After surgery, you may feel some discomfort due to the swelling around the area however this pain should disappear around a week after surgery.

Following your surgeon’s pre-operative instructions is crucial to ensure a quick recovery and to reduce the risk of complications.  

Arranging for transportation is essential. After the surgery, you will not be able to drive home, so it is important to have a trusted friend or family member to take you back home. It is also important to plan for your recovery period. You will need to take some time off work or school to rest and recover after the procedure. Planning ahead and ensuring you have everything you need at home, including comfortable clothing, plenty of pillows, and any necessary medications, can make your recovery period smoother. 

During your recovery period, you may support help with daily life for a short while. Ask a trusted friend or family member for assistance during this time. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after the surgery can also help your body recover more quickly. 

It is important to avoid alcohol and medications that thin the blood, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for a few days before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding. Quitting smoking at least two weeks before the procedure is generally recommended, as smoking can increase the risk of complications during and after the surgery. 

After around 6 weeks, your pinnaplasty should be completely healed.

Scarring after a pinnaplasty is likely, but it should be minimal and well hidden within the natural creases and folds of the ear.  

Your surgeon will make incisions behind the ear to access the cartilage, and the resulting scars will be hidden in the natural crease where the ear meets the head. In some cases, additional incisions may be made on the front of the ear, but these should also be well hidden in the natural folds and creases of the ear.

The scars should fade over time and become less noticeable, especially if proper scar management techniques are followed during the healing process.

Your surgeon will provide you with more detailed information about scarring and scar management during your consultation. 

When your pinnaplasty surgery is completed, your ears will be individually covered with small dressings, which are usually worn for one week. 

Following your ear pinning surgery, you will be advised to wear a tennis headband for eight weeks at night and during any contact sports. This is to prevent your ears from being pushed forward whilst they are still settling. During the first week after surgery, this headband should be worn on top of the ear dressings.

Generally, patients can return to work or school after a few days to a week following pinnaplasty surgery. 

However, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and allow yourself enough time to rest and recover. If your job or school activities involve heavy physical exertion or require you to wear a helmet or other headgear, you may need to take more time off to avoid any complications or discomfort. 

Your surgeon will discuss your situation with you to allow you to come to a safe decision.  

A pinnaplasty takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete.

A pinnaplasty usually costs between £3,500 and £5,000.

Body parts. Close-up of male ear.
photo focused on an older woman's face

In general, the results of a pinnaplasty are considered to be permanent, as the cartilage in the ears is reshaped and cannot revert to its original position.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the ageing process and other factors can affect the appearance of the ears over time.

For example, the skin on the ears may lose elasticity and become less firm as a person ages, which can affect the overall appearance of the ears.

Previous ear surgeries do not necessarily rule out the possibility of pinnaplasty, but they may affect the surgical approach and outcome.  

If you have had surgery on the outer ear, such as for an earlobe repair or keloid removal, it may not impact the feasibility of pinnaplasty. However, if you have had surgery on the middle or inner ear, such as for a perforated eardrum or otosclerosis, your surgeon may need to take extra precautions to avoid any damage or complications.

Additionally, any scarring or changes to the ear anatomy from previous surgeries may affect the results of the pinnaplasty. Your surgeon may need to adjust their technique or consider using additional tissue or grafts to achieve the desired outcome.

It’s important to be honest and thorough when discussing your medical history with your surgeon to ensure they have all the necessary information to make an informed decision about the safety and feasibility of pinnaplasty for you.

If you have other aesthetic concerns that could be addressed simultaneously with pinnaplasty, combining procedures can often result in a more comprehensive and satisfactory outcome. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation.

Some common cosmetic procedures that can be combined with pinnaplasty include rhinoplasty, facelift, and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)

A rhinoplasty, or nose job, is often performed simultaneously with pinnaplasty to achieve better facial symmetry and balance. Similarly, a facelift can address signs of ageing in the lower face and neck, and combining it with a pinnaplasty can help improve overall facial proportion and harmony.

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is another procedure that can be combined with pinnaplasty to create a more youthful and refreshed appearance to the face.

While combining procedures can provide more significant and long-lasting results, it can also increase the overall cost and recovery time. It is thus crucial to discuss your goals and expectations with your surgeon during the consultation process.

Your surgeon can then recommend the most appropriate combination of procedures to help you achieve your desired outcome while ensuring safety and optimal results.

"’I’ve always hated my protruding ears, and had spent ages researching Otoplasty online but never dared have an actual consultation with a surgeon. It sounds a bit foolish, but I was worried that I might upset my family by having the surgery, as my Father and my sisters all have the same protruding ears as me. Having the chance to discuss all of this with Amber helped me get a perspective and also helped me get the confidence to tell my family what I wanted to do. As it turned out, I need not have been so worried about their reactions. I’d imagined hurting them, but in actual fact, they were just happy for me. I did go ahead and have my procedure and now I can wear my hair up with confidence whenever I like – therapy also taught me a lot about myself in the process. I’m super happy with the outcome."

"Attended this clinic four times. Always a pleasant experience. Friendly staff and immaculately clean. Highly recommend Mr Greg O’Toole for ear surgery – LT "


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