Dr. Alexandra Turner Plastic Surgeon MBBS BSc FRACS MED00001125632

Plastic Surgery Adelaide - eyelid surgery face lift neck ear pinning


Otoplasty, ear pinning, or prominent ear surgery, is a common procedure to correct protruding ears (or bat ears). The ear cartilage is reshaped or partially removed to allow the ears to lie flatter against the side of the head.

Reasons to have prominent ear surgery

Otoplasty, or ear pinning will help reduce protruding ears and can change the appearance of your ears. If you are unhappy with the shape, position, or other aspects of your ears, you may wish to consider this procedure. Prominent ear surgery is a relatively simple procedure, and many patients find it is a positive experience.

Otoplasty procedure 

Otoplasty, or ear pinning surgery, is commonly performed for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons. Every year thousands of ear pinning surgeries are completed successfully. We treat healthy men, women, young adults and children wanting to change the appearance of their ears. The ideal age however is in early childhood when the cartilage is more pliable. 

This procedure is often performed safely as a day case under a local anaesthetic with no hospital stay. In some cases, however, a general anaesthetic may be preferred. A standard otoplasty procedure takes around one to two hours to complete depending on the complexity.

Your surgeon will make an incision behind the ear close to where it meets the skull. Once the incisions are made, the surgeon uses a scalpel to shape the cartilage and remove excess cartilage. Internal stitches are used to hold the ears in their new position.

Any scarring from the procedure is barely visible due to the incisions being behind the ear. So, you can enjoy your appearance without any evidence that you have undergone ear pinning surgery.

During our discussion, we will ensure you fully understand the procedure that will be conducted during your surgery, as well as your steps for recovery, any risks and possible complications.

Recovery after surgery 

Recovery from surgery is highly individual, and the time frame will vary depending on your individual surgery, lifestyle and general health. It is important that you follow the post-operative instructions for a safe and comfortable recovery.

Following your procedure, a bandage snuggly covering your ears is applied to hold the new ear position in place. You will need to wear this for around one to two weeks until your follow up appointment. After the headband is removed, you will wear a sweatband or something similar for sleeping for six weeks to protect the new shape of your ears. You may experience residual swelling during this time.

Most adults and children can resume normal activities and lifestyle after the bandages have been removed. However, you must take care not to knock your ears or irritate the wounds. You must avoid vigorous exercise and contact sports for at least six weeks after surgery or as advised by your surgeon.

Our team is here to support you and ensure you make a swift recovery and return to your normal lifestyle as soon as possible.


Read further information about Otoplasty surgery on the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons' website here