Otoplasty Salt Lake City - Ear Pinning Utah
Otoplasty or Ear Pinning
The auricle is the outer portion of the ear. It is made of elastic cartilage covered by a very thin layer of perichondrium (connective tissue that covers cartilage) and skin. The natural folds of the auricle are designed to efficiently and effectively funnel sound waves into the ear canal to the ear drum where the sound waves will eventually be turned into a nerve signal to the brain. While the folds of the outer ear serve a functional role, they also can have a dramatic effect on the cosmetic appearance of the face. Inadequate development (unfolding) of the anithelix or overgrowth of the conchal bowl can cause the ears to stick out too far from the head. Otoplasty is a procedure designed for those with prominent ears. Prominent ears are generally considered to be genetically inherited. Usually the ear deformity is present at birth but may be subtle. As the child ages and the ear grows, the appearance becomes more dramatic. Prominent ears can become a distraction to a persons face. Children who have this condition can be teased or bullied by classmates. Parents are often concerned that school teasing may have a negative impact on their child's development of self image. Otoplasty or ear pinning is a procedure commonly performed at Bitner Facial Plastic Surgery. The surgery is done in our office-based AAAASF certified operating suite. The surgery can be performed on children down to 5 years of age Our operating suite is certified for pediatric use. The surgery is done under anesthesia provided by our PALS certified anesthetist. While not a painful procedure, recovery takes about one week.
Can ear pinning be done on children younger than age 5?
No. The ear grows to 90% of adult size by five years of age. The surgical procedure tends to disrupt further cartilage growth, so it is necessary to wait until the ear has gotten close to it's adult size before surgery. The surgery can be performed on adults without age restrictions.
How is the surgery performed?
An incision is made on the back side of the ear in the crease. Skin and perichondrium is lifted off the cartilage. Finally, permanent sutures are placed to create or enhance the underdeveloped curves of the ear or to setback the overgrown conchal bowl. The skin is replaced and sutured closed. Cartilage cutting or scoring procedures are not performed as the results will often have an unnatural appearance and can be very difficult to correct.
Is there any scarring?
The only scar is in the crease behind the ear. It virtually disappears with time and is never visible.
How long does it take to recover?
One week for most patients. We ask that the patient wear a headband close to 24 hours a day for the first week and then at nights for 5 additional weeks. Patients should also refrain from any activity where the ear might be pulled, struck or injured for 6 full weeks.
Does pulling on the ear in childhood cause the ears to stick out?
Generally prominent ears is considered to be a genetic condition.
Does ear pinning have any effect on a person's hearing?
What to do NOW?
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