Otoplasty, commonly known as ear pinning, is performed to reduce overly prominent ears. Richmond area facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Bridges M.D. FACS, helps patients as young as 4-6 years old by surgically modifying ears that are over-sized, stick out, or have developed in an abnormal shape. While the typical otoplasty patient is a young child, otoplasty can be performed at any age. For adults, the surgery can be performed under local anesthesia in the clinic.
"I LOVE what the microneedling has done for my skin - the tone and texture is unbelievable. Thanks for introducing me to Circadia, too - Love all the products you recommended. Amazing......."- LC / Office Visit / Mar 19, 2014
"My nose was broken when I was a kid. I carried it well through my life and in my career as a model. As I aged, I'm 44 now, my nose changed. You could see the break and divots, as my skin had gotten thin. I began to dislike it. I was very scared to make the change. I didn't want to not look like myself, but I knew it could definitely be improved. I am happy to report that I had a referral for Dr. Bridges. I have friends that have traveled to New York, California, Florida or Texas for rhinoplasty. We are extremely lucky to have such an amazing doctor right here in Richmond, VA. Dr. Bridges fixed the crooked break in my nose, straightened it out, removed the small hook that had formed, and gave me a prettier version of my nose. My friends don't even notice; That's how subtle it is. I tell them, of course. Why wouldn't I share with everyone such a great doctor and procedure. Thank you Dr. Bridges! This was a bid deal for me, as I am sure it is for anyone considering this surgery. It's wonderful to be so pleased with the work he did."- N.B. / Google / May 16, 2019
"I started going to Angelina several years ago and fell in love with the services she provides. She really helped me learn to love the skin I am in and take care of it. I love the hydro facial! Then I started to consider having a blepharoplasty and consulted with Dr. Bridges. He mapped out a plan for me (I needed an endoscopic brow lift) and did so with careful consideration of my severe dry eye. I ended up having upper and lower blepharoplasty along with the brow lift. You can barely see any of the scarring and it hasn't even been 2 months. His bedside manner is above any other and his skill is a true gift. I could go on and on, but I will stop here. The office staff is also a joy!"- M.B. / Google / May 13, 2019
"I had a full rhinoplasty in December of 2018 with a donor rib bone to replace deteriorating cartlidge. It was a very involved surgery and Dr Bridges did a fantastic job. From the consultation through surgery and recovery I was confident in his ability! Thank you Dr. Bridges!"- R.D. / Google / Apr 11, 2019
"Halo+Zo+Angelina= beautiful skin! - I have been seeing Angelina for the past year and a half and I have the best skin of my life! She truly is my “skin coach”! Her knowledge of the Zo skin care products and all of the treatments that she offers is bar none. I completely and totally trust Angelina and because of her my skin is glowing! I have had two Halo procedures which have improved the quality of my skin dramatically. Goo..."- H. / RealSelf / Mar 19, 2019
The technique used during otoplasty will depend on the abnormality. The incision is generally placed along the natural crease behind the ear, which is nearly invisible after healing. The most common issue with protruding ears is the under-formation of the antihelical fold. This is the main fold of the upper part of the ear. The surgical goal can be simulated by folding this part of the ear back. The fold is typically created or enhanced surgically be placing permanent sutures that pull the cartilage together across the fold. Further stitches can be placed to bring the entire ear closer to the head as well. Great care is taken to make the two sides as symmetric as possible.
Otoplasties in children are performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Adults can have the procedure under local anesthesia in the office. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete and is done as an outpatient. After surgery, patients will be sent home with their heads wrapped in a bandage, which will be removed and replaced the next day in the office. A removable headband is worn around the clock as much as possible for the next week, then at night only for several more weeks. Younger patients will need to be monitored so they do not touch or play with their ears during the healing process.
Plan Your Procedure
Ear Surgery FAQs
The results following an otoplasty procedure are long lasting. However, just like any other cosmetic procedure, aging and gravity may cause increased laxity. This could eventually affect the position of the ears. For the most part, the improvements made with this surgery are considered permanent.
Children between the ages of 4-6 are considered within the ideal range for this surgery. From an anatomical standpoint, believe it or not, the ears have reached nearly adult size around this age. From a psychological standpoint, having this surgery before starting elementary school can help avoid teasing and ridicule from classmates. Some studies have shown that performing this surgery younger than age 6 can still result in excellent results.
Both Ear or Just One?
In the majority of cases, both ears are affected. Therefore, surgery is performed on both ears. However, sometimes only one ear is prominent and asymmetric to the other side. If this is the case, surgery will be performed on the affected ear, which will be made to match the opposing ear.