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Home/Surgical Procedures/Otoplasty

Otoplasty, also known as “ear pinning surgery”, is one of the most rewarding procedures in facial plastic surgery. The goal of this surgery is to set back the ears to a more appropriate position while maintaining and recreating normal contours.1 Dr. Prischmann is a specialist in otoplasty and considers it her favorite operation to perform.

Good Candidates for Ear Pinning Surgery

Otoplasty is a common procedure2 and is appropriate for:

Those older than 6 years old (when the ear is appropriately developed for correction)3

Individuals with excessively prominent or protruding ears

Ears that exhibit a lack of normal contours

Those in general good health without chronic and/or untreated ear infections

The Otoplasty Procedure

Dr. Prischmann, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon performs otoplasty ear reshaping as an outpatient procedure in an operating room. It can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia– this is decided during the consultation. The surgical plan depends on the patient’s physical exam. Prior to surgery, Dr. Prischmann closely analyzes her patient’s ears to determine the extent of the operation and the otoplasty techniques required to reach the patient’s goals. Most otoplasties involve an incision behind the ear, removal of a small amount of cartilage, and placement of permanent internal sutures to “set back” the ear and create a natural antihelical fold. The incision behind the ear is then closed with sutures and a pressure dressing is applied overnight. The procedure takes about one hour per ear.

Recovery After Otoplasty

Our experience is that children and adults do very well after surgery. Dr. Prischmann will prescribe some nausea and pain medications, which may be needed for one or two days after surgery. Often, patients report minimal pain.

Dr. Prischmann sees all patients the day after surgery. This is when the pressure dressing is removed, and detailed instructions are given with regards to cleaning the incisions. Patients are instructed to wear a comfortable headband (which we provide) for 23 hours per day for one week after surgery. This prevents any accidental trauma to the ears. While recovery time can vary from patient to patient, in general, most patients are fully recovered within six weeks.

FAQs About Otoplasty

What Is the Cost of an Otoplasty?

The cost of surgery is determined by a number of factors, including the complexity of the operation and length of time in the operating room. All surgical estimates contain 4 fees: 1) surgeon’s fee; 2) applicable state tax; 3) facility fee; 4) anesthesia fee. The approximate cost of otoplasty can range from $3500 to $6500 depending on whether the operation involves one or both ears.

Does insurance cover otoplasty?

Insurance typically does not consider otoplasty as a “medically necessary” procedure and therefore does not cover it.

Can otoplasty improve the appearance of the earlobes?

No, however, otoplasty can be combined with earlobe reduction surgery to improve the position of the ears as well as the shape and or size of the lobes.

Are there any risks and/or side effects with otoplasty?

Otoplasty is considered a safe and effective elective procedure. However, all surgery carries some risk. All patients are given a consent form to review prior to the procedure that goes over these risks. Dr. Prischmann also discusses these risks during the consultation.


I just wanted to say thank you for taking care of me and my ear. I have been meaning to thank you before this, time just slips away. You are a wonderful person and I admire how you practice and run your business. Thank you for your kindness and caring.

– Anonymous

1 Mayo Clinic. Otoplasty. Available: Accessed March 22, 2022.
2 ASPS. 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Available: Accessed March 22, 2022.
3 ASPS. Ear Surgery. Available: Accessed March 22, 2022.