About Surgical Ear Contouring

What is otoplasty?

Protruding ears are often the result of improper formation of the fold (located on the inner rim of the ear), in conjunction with a naturally deep concha, both of which serve to push the entire ear away from the side of the head. Ear contouring surgery can be performed on both adults and children, although it is advisable to wait until about age 6, when ears are almost fully grown.

Ear contouring surgery (otoplasty, ear pinning) is performed to improve facial symmetry and proportional balance through the meticulous surgical enhancement of the ear structures.

Otoplasty procedures require the of an expert facial plastic surgeon with the requisite experience and strong working knowledge of the intricate ear anatomy. At the Beverly Hills Aesthetic Surgical Institute, with office locations in Beverly Hills, Valencia, and Santa Clarita, California, Triple Board-certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. D. David Saadat’s vast surgical expertise is sought after by patients with diverse ear contouring objectives, including, but not limited to:

  • Correct structural ear malformations resulting from trauma or injury
  • Repair misshapen or malformed ear cartilage for both children and adults (children should be at least 4-6 years of age at the time of surgery to ensure complete ear structure formation)
  • Enhance the overall cosmetic appearance of the ears
  • Resolve genetic earlobe deformities, such as: earlobes with clefts; earlobes with skin tags; and duplicate earlobes
  • Treat conditions of (overly large ears) or (complete absence of ears or excessively small ears)
  • Enhance the appearance of overly prominent ears, which is defined as ears that project more than 2 cm from the side of the head. Ear protrusion may present unilaterally (one ear) or bilaterally (both ears)
  • Revise and improve upon the results of previous ear contouring surgery ( otoplasty)


Most frequent questions and answers

What is an ear pinning (otoplasty) surgery like with Dr. Saadat?

Dr. Saadat will take the time to design a personalized treatment plan that seamlessly integrates your aesthetic preferences and desired surgical outcomes. Your surgical plan will take into consideration the potential for small ear adjustments to impact the balance and proportions of your entire face, and will always incorporate the least invasive facial surgery techniques available in order to reduce the risk of complications and minimize your discomfort.

The otoplasty procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, IV sedation, or a local anesthetic. Dr. Saadat will work through an incision discreetly placed behind the ears, employing a combination of cartilage scoring and suturing techniques to augment and restructure the fold, before gently excising surplus cartilage and skin. If necessary, additional sutures on the back of the cartilage can be placed to bring the entire ear closer to the side of the head. Dr. Saadat’s ultimate goal with every ear contouring procedure is to produce subtly enhanced results while avoiding an unnatural or “pinned back” appearance.

What is the recovery from an otoplasty like?

Although every patient’s recovery experience is unique, most individuals return to work or school after 1-2 weeks, although you will need to refrain from strenuous physical activity for an additional 4-6 weeks. You will be given pain medication to manage any discomfort and antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Children may need to be monitored during the first 24-36 hours after surgery to ensure the initial surgical dressing remains dry and in place. When you return to the Beverly Hills Aesthetic Surgical Institute for your one-week follow-up appointment, you will notice visible improvements to the shape and position of your ears, and these initial results will continue to improve over the next 4-6 weeks, as any residual swelling subsides.

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