Ear pinning surgery, or otoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the shape, positioning and proportions of protruding outer ears. Ears that “stick out” often run in families. This physical characteristic may be present at birth and become more apparent with development. Ears can also become misshapen as a result of a head injury. Regardless of the underlying cause of the ear protrusion, Dr. Daniel Greenwald, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Bayshore Plastic Surgery in Tampa, Florida, can work with an individual who is interested in ear pinning surgery to determine whether he or she is a good candidate and, if so, recommend an individualized procedure.

As explained by Dr. Greenwald, the shape and folds of the outer ear can help concentrate and localize sound waves to a certain extent, but protruding ears have minimal to no effect on an individual’s hearing. However, this physical characteristic can sometimes lead to practical problems, such as difficulties in finding proper-fitting protective helmets and other types of headgear. Nevertheless, the majority of people who seek ear pinning surgery at Bayshore Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL, are interested in addressing aesthetic concerns. Ears that protrude can be very noticeable, particularly in children, mainly because the ears are one of the first parts of the body to develop to full adult size. The condition can lead to self-consciousness, embarrassment, and psychological distress in both children and adults alike.

Dr. Greenwald consults individually with each prospective patient prior to recommending ear pinning surgery. In general, surgery for protruding ears may be appropriate for an individual who is:

  • Age five or older, or whose ears have grown and developed to their full adult size, with cartilage that is sufficiently stable to allow for reshaping
  • Mature enough to cooperate, follow directions, and communicate clearly with medical professionals
  • Generally healthy with no medical conditions that could affect the ear pinning recovery process
  • A non-smoker
  • Positive and realistic about the likely outcome of ear pinning surgery

If Dr. Greenwald determines that ear pinning surgery is appropriate and an individual decides to proceed, he will explain his recommendations in depth, including the placement of the incision and the surgical goals in terms of ear shape, size, and position. During the discussion, Dr. Greenwald may refer to his ear pinning before and after photo collection, which can be a helpful tool for both educational and planning purposes.

If you’d like to learn more about ear pinning surgery, contact Bayshore Plastic Surgery, at 888-840-3199 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenwald at his office in Tampa, FL.