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Ear Plastic Surgery (Otoplasty) Procedure Steps

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Ear Plastic Surgery (Otoplasty) Procedure StepsOtoplasty, commonly known as ear pinning, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to reshape the ears to create a more proportionate and attractive facial appearance. Different surgical techniques may be adopted to perform otoplasty, and the steps involved in the procedure can slightly vary depending on the type of technique used.

At the time of initial consultation, the surgeon will educate the patient about the otoplasty procedure and steps involved. The patient should feel free to ask questions and make a well-considered decision. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim provides ear surgery to patients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, CA, and other cities and neighborhoods across the landscape in this area of the state.



In most cases, ear reshaping cosmetic surgery will be a relatively less invasive procedure, requiring only a local anesthetic along with sedation for an adult patient. Children will, however, usually require general anesthesia to undergo ear pinning surgery.

General anesthesia will be performed by an anesthesiologist or a certified nurse anesthetist, who will be present in the surgery room throughout the procedure to monitor the patient’s response. Otoplasty procedure will usually be completed in less than two hours.


Incision and Cartilage Reshaping

Following anesthesia, the procedure will begin with the surgeon placing an incision behind the ear. The incision will be located discreetly to keep the subsequent scarring minimally exposed. The incision will allow for the ear cartilage to be exposed so that the surgeon can reshape it correctly.

The surgeon will perform the reshaping of the cartilage in precise and delicate manner to enhance the proportion and symmetry of the ears. Substantial cartilage removal may be involved if the ears are oversized. The surgeon may also excise loose skin through the same incisions.


Ear Repositioning

If the ear is projecting far from the head, the surgeon will reposition it closer to the sides of the head after the reshaping of the cartilage is done. This is called ear pinning. Cartilage sparing and scoring techniques as well as skin removal from the back of the ear will be typically involved in this step. The surgeon will customize the techniques to achieve the desired position and shape of ears in a less invasive way.


Incision Closure

Once the ear reshaping is done, the surgeon will use traditional or removable sutures to close the incisions. The incision area will be temporarily wrapped in bandages. Experienced plastic surgeon Dr. Kim receives patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, CA, and nearby areas for otoplasty.


Outpatient Procedure

The patient will be shifted to a recovery area after the surgery is completed. Once the initial effects of surgery and anesthesia are relieved, the patient may be able return home in a few hours. They should have someone responsible to drive them back home. If the patient is a child, the surgeon may recommend an overnight hospital stay for closer monitoring.

Additional procedure steps in otoplasty may be involved if it is a reconstructive ear surgery to correct a birth defect or repair injuries such as lacerations, burns or infected and torn piercings.

Click here see more plastic surgery procedures and treatments performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Eugene Kim on patients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and surrounding areas or call 310-271-6996 to schedule a consultation.

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