Otoplasty (Ear Pinning) in Denver

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Denver Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

The cosmetic ear surgery known as otoplasty improves the shape and structure of the ears to provide a natural, symmetrical appearance; it can also correct physical defects caused by injuries.

Also called ear surgery or ear-pinning surgery, otoplasty can address many aspects of the external ear, including the rim and the earlobe. This is achieved through making precise changes to the cartilage. While it is typically used to address overly protruding ears, otoplasty can also address issues like ears that are too large or small, lop ear, and Stahl’s ear.

To learn if an otoplasty is right for you or your child, please call the office of Smith Cosmetic Surgery at 303-741-2211 to schedule your complimentary consultation with our Denver facial plastic surgeons Dr. Brent J. Smith or Dr. Cory D. Bovenzi.

Otoplasty Procedure At A Glance

Indications: Enlarged or Misshapen Ears

Anesthesia: Twilight

Surgery Type: Outpatient

Surgery time: 2 hours

Downtime: 1.5-2 weeks

Removal of Stitches: N/A – absorbable stitches will dissolve in 1 week

Technique: Ear-pinning or ear cartilage reshaping via an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear, specific technique depends on anatomy. Mustarde and Furnas techniques are commonly employed.

Complementary Procedures: Varies

Cost: The cost depends on your particular anatomy, whether the surgery is a revision or primary, and whether there are special considerations for your case. To get a quote, you can contact us to set up a free consultation with Dr. Bovenzi Phone: 303-741-2211 Email: info@smithcosmeticsurgery.com

The Otoplasty Procedure

Every otoplasty procedure is different and is customized based on each patient’s unique needs and facial features for natural-looking results. That said, ear surgery is typically an outpatient treatment that entails reforming the ears’ cartilage for a uniform appearance.

Ear pinning is performed at Smith Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Center’s fully accredited ambulatory suite. Our state-of-the-art ambulatory suite is the perfect environment for undergoing high-quality facial plastic surgery procedures.

Ear surgery lasts for around one hour, though this varies based on the specific changes being made to the ears. Many patients choose to have more than one facial procedure performed during the same surgical session, resulting in comprehensive enhancement. Examples include mini facelifts, blepharoplasty, and rhinoplasty.

Otoplasty can be performed with either twilight anesthesia (conscious sedation) or local anesthesia, with twilight anesthesia being the most common option. Once anesthesia is administered, the area is numb, preventing any pain for the duration of the ear surgery.

Often, small incisions are made along the backs of the ears, which provides access to the cartilage and conceals the residual scars. The cartilage is then reshaped, with the newly sculpted form held in place by tiny sutures.

The Otoplasty Procedure

Why Choose Smith Cosmetic Surgery for Ear Surgery?

Patients consistently choose Smith Cosmetic Surgery for otoplasty in Denver due to our surgeons’ high degree of experience. Dr. Bovenzi is a board-certified otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) surgeon with years of experience in ear, nose, and throat surgery.

Our facial plastic surgeons understand the anatomy of the human ear from both a cosmetic and functional perspective. Their techniques focus on camouflaging incision marks in the crease behind the ear, preventing the appearance of any prominent post-surgical marks. This allows patients to enjoy results that look incredibly natural.

Our surgeons’ precise and technical placement of sutures to reshape ear cartilage encourages long-lasting benefits. Our surgeons minimize downtime and recovery time for patients, helping them quickly return to their daily lives after ear pinning.

Why Choose Smith Cosmetic Surgery for Ear Surgery?

Otoplasty Results And Recovery

The results of cosmetic ear surgery are immediate, although you may not be able to see them for a few days as dressings are typically required to protect the ears and support their new shape. Any lingering scars are well hidden in the creases of the ears and will fade with time. Subtle refinements to the ears’ appearance will continue as they heal. Most otoplasty patients, including young children, can resume routine activities within a week of the procedure. Patients should avoid intense play and contact sports until cleared for increased physical activity by your surgeon, who will provide you with comprehensive recovery guidelines prior to your surgery. The entire team at Smith Cosmetic Surgery will be here to support you through every step of the recovery process. For additional information about the otoplasty procedure or to arrange your personal consultation, please contact Smith Cosmetic Surgery. As nationally recognized facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Smith and Dr. Bovenzi welcome patients from the Denver metro area and across the country.

Otoplasty Results And Recovery

Otoplasty Benefits

Cosmetic ear surgery can correct common aesthetic imperfections including:

  • Disproportionately large ears (a condition also known as macrotia)
  • Protruding ears
  • Folds at the tops of the ears (also referred to as lop ear)
  • Disproportionately small or cupped ears
  • Missing creases and folds on the ears’ outer rims (also known as shell ear)
  • Elongated earlobes
Ear Surgery FAQs

Because both children and adults can be ideal candidates for ear surgery in Denver, there is no one best age to undergo the procedure. Children may get otoplasty surgery to prevent teasing due to ear malformations or overprojected ears. Adults can also come in for this surgery to help make their ears look more natural.

Children ages four to 14 undergo this procedure more often than adults do. For children, the ear cartilage is more malleable, since it has not yet become stiff and firm. This makes the procedure easier to perform. Older patients have much thicker cartilage, which can be more stubborn. However, our skilled facial plastic surgeons can still perform this procedure quite effectively for these patients.

It is typically best to get ear pinning after the ears have finished all growth. Otherwise, natural growth can produce unexpected changes and negatively affect the results. The ears continue to grow until age four or five; after this point, doctors are much more likely to recommend ear pinning.

Otoplasty from our facial plastic surgeons has a very high success rate due to their focus on creating very natural-looking results. Our surgeons take numerous facial measurements into account when creating surgical plans for otoplasty, ensuring natural proportions.

Part of the secret to otoplasty’s high success rate is the high degree of control it offers the surgeon. Since the procedure involves reshaping and sculpting the cartilage of the ear, our surgeons are able to create personalized and precise results. The tiny sutures they place in the architecture of the ear allow for further precision and customization.

Thanks to these factors, patients are usually quite pleased with the new shape, projection, and overall appearance of their ears. They find that their facial features are in better proportion than they were prior to the procedure.

After ear pinning in Denver, the full recovery process takes around four to six weeks. However, the procedure does not require a great deal of downtime, and patients can return to everyday activities in around one week.

Swelling and bruising are normal and will fade over the course of a week or two. This process can be aided with the application of a cold compress as directed. Additionally, patients are recommended to keep their head elevated at all times to minimize swelling. Pillows help with keeping one’s head elevated overnight.

Patients must avoid sleeping on their side to prevent damage to the tissues as they heal. Extreme heat should be avoided, and patients must not use blow dryers on or near their ears.

For the vast majority of patients, otoplasty results are permanent. After the cartilage is reshaped, scar tissue forms naturally as part of the body’s normal healing process. This stiff tissue aids in ensuring that the ears retain their new shape incredibly well. Because of this, otoplasty results do not come undone years later.

Results may revert very slightly during the first year after surgery. This is due to cartilage’s natural inclination to return to its former shape. However, this is taken into account by experienced plastic surgeons, who are able to overcorrect in order to account for the slight reversion.

In very rare cases, results may revert back within the first couple months. This typically occurs as a result of the procedure not being performed correctly. Certain types of sutures and certain surgical techniques can contribute to this, as can undercorrection of the ears. In these cases, it’s best to come to a skilled surgeon for revision ear pinning.

Additionally, a minor degree of gradual change may occur due to various factors. If a patient gets the surgery at a young age, the natural growth process can result in slightly larger ears. Ear trauma can also negatively affect results over time.

If you are unsure about whether or not major or minor reversion has occurred, it’s highly recommended to look at pre-operative photographs of your ears and compare them to current photographs.