Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Ear pinning surgery or an Otoplasty is a common surgical procedure performed to “pin back” or correct protruding ears. The surgery can be performed on adults as well as on children usually over five years of age. It is often recommended at an early age to help alleviate teasing at school by other children. Many parents are unaware of the severe psychological trauma that may result from such harassment.


Otoplasty is performed by making incisions in the back of the ears to expose the ear cartilage. It may be necessary to remodel or remove some cartilage before the ear is repositioned. Sutures are then used to maintain this correction. The exterior skin is sutured and the ears bandaged for several days to protect them in their new position. Sutures are generally removed within a few days unless absorbable sutures are used.

This procedure can be performed in our office or out-patient surgical center. Although general anesthesia may be recommended for young children, many patients also do well with an IV sedation and local anesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss with you the type of anesthesia most suitable for this procedure.


The improvement from surgery is readily apparent, although the final result will not be evident for several weeks due to swelling and other natural changes that are a result of healing.

Swelling and bruising are normal, but usually disappear within a week or so. Patients usually return to full activity by the end of two weeks, although it is necessary to protect the ears from trauma or bending until healing is more complete. For this reason, a headband will often be recommended for a period of time after the surgery. Most patients are back to work or school in one to two days. Discomfort is mild and rarely is pain medication required.


The degree of improvement varies according to the individual problems, but most patients are pleased with the result of otoplasty. There can be risks in any surgical procedure. You should discuss all the benefits and risks with your surgeon.

Visit our cosmetic surgery office located in Cottonwood Heights, Utah (UT). We are conveniently near the Salt Lake City, UT area.