Ear Pinning (otoplasty) to reshape or remove small sections of cartilage from the back of the ears and allow them to lay closer to the head. It can also be used to reshape or reduce the size of your ears to make them more balanced and harmonious. Besides large or protruding ears, Dr. Hayes is an expert at dealing with other ear issues such as “lop ear” (when the tip seems to fold down and forward), “cupped ear” (which is usually a very small ear), and “shell ear” (when the curve in the outer rim, as well as the natural folds and creases, are missing). Surgery can also improve appearance of overly long, large or stretched earlobes, or lobes with large creases and wrinkles.

Otoplasty for Children

Otoplasty is commonly performed on children between the ages of four and 14. Ears are almost fully grown by age four, and the earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child will have to endure. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient.

Planning for Surgery

Dr. Hayes recommends that parents stay alert to their child's feelings about protruding ears; don't insist on the surgery until your child wants the change themselves. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears and want the surgery, are generally more cooperative during the process and much happier with the outcome.

In the initial meeting, Dr. Hayes will evaluate your child's condition (or yours if you are considering surgery for yourself), and recommend the most effective technique. We will also give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

Ear surgery is usually performed in the outpatient ambulatory surgery center, for adults we may perform your surgery in our state of the art on site surgical suite.

Anesthesia and Surgery

General anesthesia is used during this surgery for children, twilight sleep may be used for adult patients. Ear surgery usually takes about two hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. The technique Dr. Hayes uses depends on the nature of the issue you are seeking to correct.

Dr. Hayes often utilizes a simple technique that requires only a small incision in the back of the ear to expose the ear cartilage. He then sculpts the cartilage and bends it back toward the head. (Self- dissolving stitches may be used to help maintain the new shape.) Occasionally, a piece of cartilage may be removed to provide a more natural-looking fold when the surgery is complete.

Getting Back to Normal

Adults and children are usually up and around within a few hours of surgery. The patient's head will be wrapped in a bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. Some patients report that their ears are mildly sore or may ache slightly for a few days. This is usually managed by medication. After a few days, the bandages will be swapped out for a lighter dressing, similar to a headband.

Any activity in which the ear might be bent should be avoided for a month or so. Most adults can go back to work about five days after surgery. Children can go back to school after seven days or so, if they're careful about playground activity. You may want to ask your child's teacher to keep an eye on the child for a few weeks. Most children are extremely happy with their new ears and find that they are no longer teased about them. 

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“Dear Dr. Hayes, Thanks to you and your staff for the great care and kindness during all pre- and post-op appointments for my surgery. To you specifically, thanks for another surgery that went very well and I felt I was taken care of by THE BEST!”  
D.G. – Rhinoplasty (nose surgery ) patient