Do you feel self-conscious about your ears? At FacesFirst, our goal is to transform your idea of what you look like and give you self-confidence no matter the situation.

An otoplasty, a procedure used to “pin back” or reposition protruding ears, is one of our most rewarding surgeries for patients in Denver and Lone Tree. The results of this minimally invasive surgery can dramatically enhance the look of your face as well as your self-esteem.

If you want to feel confident in your appearance, call our Denver plastic surgery office today at 303-744-2300. Our experienced surgeons will talk through your options and address any of your concerns. Otoplasties can be performed at either of our Lone Tree or Denver, CO locations, which makes the procedure that much more convenient for patients.


View More Otoplasty / Ear Pinning Before & Afters

*actual patient of Otoplasty / Ear Pinning Cosmetic Surgery

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure used to accomplish a variety of aesthetic goals. Often, otoplasty is also referred to as ear pinning or simply ear surgery. Characteristics like overly protruding ears, large ears, or misshapen ears can cause emotional distress in both children and adults. Because the visual and psychological improvement following the operation is usually dramatic, it is one of the most rewarding procedures for both the patient and our surgeons. For this reason, the board-certified plastic surgeons at FacesFirst are proud to offer quality, effective Denver ear surgery for both children and adult patients.

Otoplasty for Children and Adults

In children, ear surgery is not able to be performed until the ears are fully developed, which usually happens around five years of age. Prior to this age, the only other option for reshaping the ears is shortly after birth with EarWell ear molding treatment. Once the ears have developed, otoplasty can be done at any time, even in adulthood.

In younger children, general anesthesia is given to complete the otoplasty. Adults who are comfortable with it and don’t require extensive techniques typically receive twilight sedation unless they are pairing their otoplasty with another type of plastic surgery. There is little pain after surgery and the recovery takes about a week before going back to school or work. In adults, an otoplasty may be performed on an outpatient basis at our Denver or Lone Tree office or at the hospital.

Who is a Candidate for Otoplasty?

Most people over the age of five who have ears that protrude or other ear shape or size concerns are good candidates for ear surgery. Patients should also be in overall good health and have realistic expectations for the surgery. During a consultation at our Denver or Lone Tree office, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will evaluate your health and examine your ears to determine if otoplasty is a suitable procedure for you.

The Otoplasty Procedure

First, otoplasty patients are administered general anesthesia or twilight sedation depending on the advice of their plastic surgeon. Incisions are then made directly behind the ear in the crease where the ear meets the head or the back side of the ear. Excess cartilage and other tissue may be removed to revise the ear’s projection and move it closer to the head. When your board-certified plastic surgeon is satisfied with the position and size of the ear, internal sutures are used to keep the cartilage in its new position. Following these steps, incisions are closed with sutures. The entire ear surgery procedure is completed relatively quickly and simply.

Recovery After Otoplasty

To protect patients directly after otoplasty surgery, a bandage is worn around the head to cover the ears. Once this is removed, the patient should wear a headband or hat pulled down over their ears while sleeping to protect them for another two weeks. Most patients may return to work or school in 5-7 days following their plastic surgery. With an otoplasty procedure, the thin scars resulting from the incisions are located behind each ear and are automatically hidden by them. It is rare that anyone will notice these scars.

Schedule a Consultation

The first step in any otoplasty procedure is to schedule a consultation with a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon. To schedule a consultation for your ear surgery in Denver or Lone Tree, call our offices or request your appointment online.

Can I drive after ear surgery?

Driving after ear surgery depends upon the type of anesthesia that is used. If any anesthesia is used beyond local anesthetic, then it is generally safe common sense to have a ride home immediately after your procedure. You will be able to drive within short time though.

Does otoplasty affect hearing?

Most otoplasty procedures should have no affect on the hearing portions of your ear and so your hearing would not change. Some patients may feel their hearing is temporarily different due to swelling. There also may be a dressing covering your ear that may affect your hearing.

How ear surgery is done?

Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure to reshape the ears. It is most commonly done under local or general anesthesia depending on the age and preferences of the patient. Typically, an incision is made behind the ear and sutures are used to reshape the cartilage. There are some procedures that use smaller incisions or no incisions depending on the individual case. When someone has a congenitally malformed ear there may be completely different surgical considerations. Otoplasty might take 1 to 3 hours to be completed and you can typically recover at home.

Does otoplasty last forever?

In general, otoplasty can last a lifetime after the initial healing process has matured. Since cartilage is re-shaped with sutures and other techniques during the surgery, this living tissue does need a few months to heal before it can permanently stay in the shape. Most surgeons think within 3 to 6 months it is unlikely that an auto plasty results will revert to the old shape. However this does require the patient to be careful with their ears during the healing process. Certain activities could lead to some trauma to the year that could revert the ear to its old shape and may require a revision. So talk to your surgeon about how to be careful during the healing process to minimize any problems. This is a highly satisfying procedure for most patients with long lasting results.

How is ear surgery done?

Your surgery that is done to shape the ears is called otoplasty. Most otoplasty is done on normally form ears that have prominence of certain cartilage areas of the year or flattened folds that caused the ears to stick out. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on patient age and preferences. In most cases an incision needs to be made behind the ear to get access to the cartilage. Some cartilage may be removed to allow movement of the ears. Long lasting sutures are used to create folds that change the shape and reposition the ears as desired. Careful measurements are taken to match symmetries of the left and right ears. The incisions are closed behind the ears and are generally very well hidden and hard to see even with short hair or hair that is put back. A well executed auto plasty can look natural and be a very highly satisfying procedure.

How do you sleep after ear surgery?

After ear surgery called otoplasty is done to reshape the ears, the ears may be swollen and tender for a period of time. So you were sleeping there are a few things that can be done to protect the ears and be comfortable. Initially there may be a large padded dressing that will protect the ears and minimize any direct pressure and discomfort on the ears. Most patients will feel comfortable sleeping on their back with their head slightly more elevated to help with swelling. When the large dressing comes off you may be asked to wear a headband that also protects the ears and hold them against the side of the head during sleeping. this will prevent you from rolling over on the ear and folding it in an unnatural way. You do have to be careful because there are sutures that could release with too much trauma or pressure. Having some tenderness in the operated air is a natural protective mechanism that will discourage you from putting unhealthy pressure on the ears as well Having some tenderness in the operated air is a natural protective mechanism that will discourage you from putting unhealthy pressure on the ears as well.

How dangerous is ear surgery?

Ear surgery to reshape the ears, called otoplasty is generally quite safe and highly satisfying for the patient. Any surgical procedure can’t have risk such as bleeding, infection or unsatisfactory healing. Be sure your surgeon has plenty of experience performing this operation. Your individual health condition could affect how things heal or how well you tolerate the anesthetic portion of the procedure. Be sure your whole health history is reviewed and you feel well prepared for surgery.

How long is ear surgery?

Ear surgery to reshape the years is called Otoplasty and can take one and a half to three hours of time depending on the individual circumstances of the patient’s ears as well as the techniques that the surgeon may use to achieve the result. Ask your surgeon what they predict the time will be for your operation.

How long is otoplasty surgery?

Otoplasty can take 1 to 3 hours to perform. This may depend on individual patient factors and the surgical techniques used. Ask your surgeon what they predict the amount of time your operation will take.

Is otoplasty permanent?

In general, otoplasty can last a lifetime after the initial healing process has matured. Since cartilage is re-shaped with sutures and other techniques during the surgery, this living tissue does need a few months to heal before it can permanently stay in the shape. Most surgeons think within 3 to 6 months it is unlikely that an auto plasty results will revert to the old shape. However this does require the patient to be careful with their ears during the healing process. Certain activities could lead to some trauma to the year that could revert the ear to its old shape and may require a revision. So talk to your surgeon about how to be careful during the healing process to minimize any problems. This is a highly satisfying procedure for most patients with long lasting results.

Is otoplasty a safe procedure?

Ear surgery to reshape the ears, called otoplasty is generally quite safe and highly satisfying for the patient. Any surgical procedure can’t have risk such as bleeding, infection or unsatisfactory healing. Be sure your surgeon has plenty of experience performing this operation. Your individual health condition could affect how things heal or how well you tolerate the anesthetic portion of the procedure. Be sure your whole health history is reviewed and you feel well prepared for surgery.

What is ear surgery called?

Ear surgery to reshape the ears is called otoplasty.

Why do my ears stick out?

When a persons ears stick out they may be called prominent ears. The most common reasons that people have prominent ears is because they may have a fold in the ear called the anti-helical fold that is weak and causes the outer parts of the ear to stick out. Another very common reason is because the inner bowl of the ear near the ear canal called the Conchal bowl is larger and also causes the ears to stick out. There are a multitude of other subtle problems that might occur as the year develops and can be described by a well-informed surgeon. Surgery to correct these deformities is called otoplasty and is usually a very highly satisfying procedure for a patient to undergo.

What kind of doctor does ear surgery?

Facial plastic surgeons, general plastic surgeons and ENT doctors that are trained in otoplasty generally perform most of these surgeries. It is important to discuss with the individual surgeon their experience performing these surgeries. Ask how many ear surgeries they have performed and what kind of training they had specifically in ears during their career.

Will my insurance cover otoplasty?

Most otoplasty is not covered by insurance these days. It has been covered many decades ago but this is typically no longer a benefit and it is elective cosmetic surgery. Your surgeon should be able to provide cost for this procedure.

Will otoplasty sutures be removed?

For Otoplasty there are some permanent sutures that are buried underneath the skin to hold the cartilage in its new shape and those will not need to be removed in most instances. Along the skin incision we usually use dissolvable sutures that do not require removal.

What kind of headband do you recommend after otoplasty?

After otoplasty a headband is recommended to protect the ears from any trauma or irritation while they are healing. A good headband will be soft and adjustable and something you’re willing to wear all day even for a few weeks. We do have some specific headbands we will recommend but you can also choose your own and check with the surgeon that it will be OK to wear. For up to three months you want to avoid trauma to your ear that could pull any sutures out of position and compromise your results.

How often do I need to wear a headband after ear surgery?

We usually recommend you wear a headband to cover your ears all day for the first week after otoplasty. After that time. You will want to wear a headband in activities or situation where you were concerned your ears could be pulled and a suture could be compromised. This may be necessary for up to three months

How often do I need to change the donut dressings and apply mupirocin ointment?

During the first week after otoplasty you should be cleaning your wounds at least twice a day and applying the antibiotic ointment followed by the dressings as directed.

When can I wear glasses after otoplasty?

When wearing glasses after otoplasty you want to be sure the glasses are not resting on or irritating any of the wounds. Otherwise it would certainly be important for you to wear glasses so you can see!

When can I ski or wear a ski helmet?

We do not recommend you wear a ski helmet or even ski for at least six weeks after otoplasty. Such activity could pull the ear or irritate the ear and compromise your result. Beyond that there may be still some precautions that you should speak to the surgeon about.

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons at FacesFirst Cosmetic Surgery | Website

Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno are board-certified plastic surgeons practicing in Denver and Lone Tree, Colorado. They have over 40 years of combined experience together in facial plastic surgery. Both Dr. Cote and Dr. Picerno specialize in procedures like Facelift, Browlift, Facial Rejuvenation, Nose Surgery, and many other types of cosmetic procedures at FacesFirst.