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An otoplasty (a.k.a. an ear-pinning procedure) is an ear surgery to correct overly protruding ears into a more desirable appearance.

Otoplasty Overview - 765

The Skinny

Average Recovery

10 days




Surgical Procedure




$3000 - $7000


Before & After Images by Provider

Otoplasty Before, Male 30 - 4421Otoplasty After, Male 30 - 4421
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Otoplasty Before, Female 35 - 4746Otoplasty After, Female 35 - 4746
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Otoplasty Before, Female 37 - 3335Otoplasty After, Female 37 - 3335
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Otoplasty Before, Male 30 - 3336Otoplasty After, Male 30 - 3336
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The Specifics

What is an otoplasty?

An otoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that corrects overly large and/or protruding ears. Also known as an ear-pinning procedure, it can be used to correct the appearance of the ear in both children and adults. While an earFold can also correct protrusion, it cannot correct ear size like an otoplasty can. An otoplasty can simultaneously reduce the size of the ear and correct the angle of ear projection.

The Anatomy of the Ear

Ear Anatomy Close Up Photo

What cosmetic concerns does an otoplasty procedure treat?

  1. Ear Shape: Manipulating the ear cartilage allows a plastic surgeon to pull the ear into a less prominent position and angle.

Who is the ideal candidate for an otoplasty procedure?

The ideal candidate for an otoplasty is an individual of any age (including children over five) who are in generally good health and do not have recurrent ear problems. Otoplasty is not recommended for individuals with certain chronic conditions, those under age five, and those with chronic ear infections (otitis media), inner ear, middle ear, or ear canal disturbances, or certain types of hearing loss.

What is the average recovery associated with an otoplasty procedure?

Following an otoplasty patients can expect about two weeks of acute downtime. The ear will secrete a thick and dark blood tinged substance for a few days to weeks. The ears must be kept dry, and strenuous activity and sun exposure should be limited for the first few weeks.

What are the potential side effects of an otoplasty procedure?

Possible side effects following an otoplasty include pain, numbness, itching, scarring, infection, and asymmetrical appearance.

What can someone expect from the results of an otoplasty procedure?

The results of an otoplasty procedure are immediate improvements to the appearance of the ear. Patients can expect the results to continue to evolve over the course of 12 months as the body heals.

What is the average cost of an otoplasty procedure?

An otoplasty can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000. The actual cost of an otoplasty is dependent upon location, plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery.


  • Ear Shape
  • Face Proportion
  • Confidence
  • Low Risk
  • Permanent Results


  • Symmetry
  • Scarring
  • Numbness

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

Otoplasty surgery, also known as ear pinning, is a procedure that permanently moves protruding ears closer to the head. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an otoplasty.

The Takeaway

An otoplasty is an ear surgery performed for cosmetic reasons to enhance the appearance of the ear. This cosmetic surgery can be performed on children and adults for improved self-esteem and a more desirable aesthetic.

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Alexander Berghaus Protruding ears - cosmetic surgery with a sense of proportion PubMed.gov; 2016-09-01
  2. Better Health Channel Otoplasty (external ear surgery)


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