Ear pinning, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear. It can correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth, or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury. Dr. Cherup can help determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and help you or your child gain back confidence in their appearance.
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If you have ears that stick out too far from the side of the head or if the ears have an unusual or undesirable shape, you could be an ear pinning candidate.
The operation is usually performed on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia. The ears are usually bandaged with a dressing that wraps around the head in a turban-like fashion for several days. Initial mild postoperative discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. The procedure is appropriate beginning at age 5 or 6 or at any time thereafter.
The ears usually look “normal” within 10-20 days. Usually, a thin stocking cap or head band is worn at night for 3 weeks after the first dressing is removed to protect the ears. Contact sports should be avoided for about a month.
Otoplasty Potential Complications
The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.
Hemotoma: A hematoma (collection of blood) is rare but possible. It could cause delayed healing or an infection. Dr. Cherup can remove the hematoma surgically.
Relapse: A relapse of the protruding ear(s) is possible if there is subsequent injury or if stitches loosen post operatively.
Scars: Scars behind the ear are usually unnoticeable, in the unlikely event the scars widen or become too thick, Dr. Cherup can revise them. Sometimes inside cartilage stitches may work their way out.
Asymmetry: The ears may be slightly different in size and shape (most ears are somewhat different to begin with).
Infection: Infection or even abscess formation (collection of pus) may occur.
Fluid Collection: Fluid collections rarely accumulate under the skin and may require drainage or aspiration (withdrawal by needle).
Otoplasty is an elective procedure. When performed on children, insurance frequently pays for this procedure. Our staff can help you find out if your insurance will cover otoplasty.
Post Operative Care
If you have excessive bleeding or pain, call the office at (412) 220-8181, day or night.
Your First 24 Hours: If you are going home, a family member or friend must drive you because you have been sedated. Someone should stay overnight with you. If you choose to go to a postoperative center, they will provide transportation. If you have any questions about these matters, please ask one of our nursing staff.
Dressings: Keep your dressings as clean and dry as possible. Do not remove them unless instructed to do so.
Activity: Take it easy and pamper yourself. Try to avoid straining. You may go to the bathroom, sit and watch TV, etc., but NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL, DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, REARRANGE THE ATTIC, ETC.! We do not want you to bleed and cause any more swelling and bruising than is unavoidable.
Ice Packs: Cold or ice packs help to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Use frozen peas in the package or crush ice cubes and put the ice into a zip-lock bag. This should help, not hurt. If the ice feels too uncomfortable, don’t use it as often.
Diet: If you have any postoperative nausea, carbonated sodas and dry crackers may settle the stomach. If nausea is severe, use the suppository. If you feel normal, start with liquids and bland foods, and if those are well tolerated, progress to a regular diet.
Smoking: Smoking reduces capillary flow in your skin. We advise you not to smoke at all during the first 10 days after surgery.
Alcohol: Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could increase postoperative bleeding. Please do not drink until you have stopped taking the prescription pain pills, as the combination of pain pills and alcohol can be dangerous.
Driving: Please don’t drive for at least 2 days after general anesthesia or intravenous sedation or while taking prescription pain pills.
Post Operative Appointments:It is very important that you follow the schedule of appointments we establish after the surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’d like to discuss with Dr. Cherup if you are a candidate for an otoplasty, schedule your free consultation.
Call Dr. Cherup at (412) 220-8181 or (877) 441-0639 or use our online form below.
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