Many people are uncomfortable with the size or shape of their ears or have sustained damage to their earlobes from earrings or gauges. Thankfully, these issues can be resolved by working with a skilled plastic surgeon like Scott E. Kasden, MD, of Kasden Plastic Surgery in Argyle, Texas. If you’d like more information about options for yourself or your child, call or click today to set up a visit.

What will it do?

Otoplasty or “ear pinning” reduces the size of the ears, recreates the delicate and intricate shape of the ears, improves symmetry between the ears, and brings the ears in closer to the head. The overall effect of otoplasty is to reduce the prominence of the ears and to restore balance and harmony to the face. The result is enhanced natural attractiveness. 

Very frequently after otoplasty, the patient reports greatly improved self-esteem and confidence. It is not unusual for hair styles to change (no longer hiding the prominent ears), and even clothing styles to change. Adults who have Otoplasty usually say that they wish that they had had the procedure much earlier in their lives. 


Prominent ears are usually discovered at birth. Children first notice prominent ears at around age 7 or 8. Once these differences are noted, it is very common for children to torment and taunt their peers about their appearance. This can lead to permanent emotional scarring. By about the age of 7 the ear has completed most of its growth and development, and surgery can safely be considered to avoid emotional scarring. 

Prominent ears results from overdevelopment of the cartilage or inadequate folding of cartilage framework. Usually, both conditions exist to some degree, and cause the ears to protrude, appear large, and lack shape. Prominent ears may overshadow the natural attractiveness of the face. Surgically setting the ears closer to the head by even a small amount (less than an inch) is frequently all that is needed to restore balance and focus to the face, and away from the ears. 

Over the years, the techniques of Otoplasty have evolved based on a better understanding of ear aesthetics and experience with surgical technique. Modern otoplasty procedures usually involve removing excess skin from behind the ear and placing sutures in the cartilage framework to sculpt natural balanced appearance. The ears are usually secured closer to the head not as prominent. If there are differences between the ears, they are addressed at time of surgery. 

Best Candidates

The best candidates for this procedure are in generally good health, and who have ears that appear too large or prominent. Closer examination of the ideal candidate will reveal that the ear may lack normal folds and shape, and that other parts may be overdeveloped, leading to ears that detract from the natural attractiveness of the face. 


Complications from otoplasty not that common and usually improve over time. In addition to the risks that would occur from any surgical procedure, risks of otoplasty also includes numbness of the skin, asymmetry, and wound healing problems. Recurrence of ear prominence is also possible 

You may also have additional risks of complications depending on your health and other factors. 

How do I prepare?

It is best to stop smoking prior to the procedure (about four weeks) and to abstain for about four weeks afterward. Stop taking aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin, aspirin, Advil, Aleve, etc. for two weeks before and after surgery. You should plan to have help for several days after surgery. Wear a button up or zipper up top to the surgery center and comfortable loose fitting clothing in general. Do not wear makeup on the day of surgery. Dr. Kasden may also give you additional instructions. 

Where Preformed

This procedure is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. 


This procedure is performed under general anesthesia under the direction of a doctor certified in anesthesia. You will be “asleep” during the procedure and your vital functions will be carefully monitored. 

Occasionally, the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation. 

Surgical Process

The exact procedure to be performed will be tailored to meet your specific needs. In general, a small amount of excess skin behind the ear is removed, taking care to hide the scars in natural skin creases. The cartilage framework is visualized and surgically sculpted. Several sutures are then placed in the cartilage to help maintain the new shape, and to position the ear closer to the head. The wounds are carefully closed, and bandages are placed. 

You will recover in the postoperative recovery area for about two hours before being discharged to your home. 

How Will I Feel ?

This procedure has been described as “ouchy” rather than painful. You can expect to feel a bit groggy for a day or so after surgery. You may feel some numbness in your ears, which usually improves over several weeks. 

Back to Normal

After a few days, you should start to feel like normal. You should expect to have some bruising which usually fades by about two weeks (some people bruise more than others!). You should also expect to have considerable swelling that will last for several weeks. While the ears are swollen, you will not be able to see all of the fine detail that was created during surgery, and the ears may look a little unusual to you. Be patient however, because most of the swelling resolves within about two to three weeks. Some of the swelling however will remain for a year or so. In general, most people feel comfortable in the public eye after about a week or so. 

Expected Results

Otoplasty will restore the ears to a more aesthetic shape and position. Interestingly, this is delicate surgery that is measured in millimeters (fractions of an inch), not inches! Very small changes in the ear can have a profound impact in the overall appearance. 

From and aesthetic sense, the ears serve to “frame” the face, much like a frame compliments a beautiful painting. When the ear aesthetic is corrected, the natural balance, aesthetic, and harmony of the face are enhanced. 

Although it is usual that your surgery and recovery will go well, and you will be happy with your outcome, complications do occasionally occur. Although we attempt to anticipate and avoid problems, healing can be at times unpredictable. Therefore, no guarantees or warranties either expressly or implicitly regarding your results are made. 

I have attempted information honestly, fairly, and accurately. If you find any errors, please bring them to my attention so that I can correct them: scottkinfw@msn.com