At our premiere practice in Miami, otoplasty (also known as ear pinning) is a common procedure for men, women, and even children. The goal of the surgery is to set back protruding ears. Many individuals find it bothersome when their ears stick out excessively as they become a point of focus and distract from their other facial features. Protruding ears can even interfere with wearing helmets and/or hats. By performing an otoplasty, we can alleviate this issue and create balance in the aesthetics of the face.
Dr. Z is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon performing otoplasty (ear pinning) in the Miami Metropolitan area. We proudly see patients from all over Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Hollywood, Sunny Isles, other areas of South Florida, and even those that fly in from other states. Below, we’ve included information about the surgery and frequently asked questions that we hope you find useful. If you’d like to book a consultation or learn more about otoplasty, please contact our office.
Otoplasty is a relatively simple yet delicate cosmetic procedure that resolves the issue of protruding ears through an incision behind the ear. It can be performed with patients awake, or under general anesthesia.
There are 2 main reasons a person’s ears may protrude, and Otoplasty can address them both. First, a person may have an overgrowth of the concha bowl, which is the larger bowl-like portion at the center of the ear. Since this is a curved structure, an excessive amount of cartilage in this bowl pushes the ear outward. The second reason is the under-development of the anti-helical fold, which helps to fold back the top portion of the ear. This is the fold that is located just inside the rim of the ear and it acts to fold the top portion of the ear backward toward the head. If this fold is missing or under-developed, the ear will not fold back as expected and will thus protrude forward. An individual might have one or both of these reasons for their ear protrusion. In many cases, it is a combination of both to varying degrees and is often different between two sides of the same patient.
Otoplasty is safe for children and adults alike. The youngest age that is acceptable for otoplasty is around 5-6 years old. This is because the ears are near fully developed by this age and it is just before they begin to attend school, where taunting and teasing can become a problem. Children are done under general anesthesia, while certain teens and adults have the option to do this under local anesthesia. Many of our patients are between the ages of 15 to 35 and they frequently describe this as something they have been wanting to do since childhood. In general, we recommend the procedure to healthy people who are seeking permanent results for oversized or protruding ears.
In general, as for all surgeries, we ask patients to avoid medications and supplements that can increase bleeding as well as avoid excessive sun exposure. Preoperative testing such as blood work and EKG may be required for certain individuals.
However, the first step in otoplasty in Miami is to get in touch and schedule a consultation. During your consultation, you’ll be able to meet with Dr. Z one-on-one and describe your aesthetic goals. Dr. Z will examine the ears in order to determine the specifics of your ear structure, determine the best course of action, give you realistic expectations, and answer all of your questions. Once the surgery is booked, we provide you with all of the pre-operative and post-operative instructions depending on your age, health, and treatment plan.
While Otoplasty is in theory relatively simple, it is a very delicate procedure and requires a high level of finesse. The procedure itself takes between 1-2 hours in total and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Almost all of our adult and teenage otoplasties are performed awake with local anesthesia, depending on patient preference. For those performed under local, patients are given oral medications for pain and relaxation. The ear is injected with a numbing medication, which most patients describe as a small quick stick and a very brief burning sensation. Our patients find this very easy to tolerate and usually tell us that it is easier than a dental procedure. After the injections are complete the ears are completely numb and patients do not feel the surgery. Patients lay on their backs with their heads turned to the side as they relax while Dr. Z works on their ears. During surgery, Dr. Z makes an incision behind each ear. In cases of an underdeveloped or missing anti-helical fold, Dr. Z uses sutures to create the appropriate amount of bend in the cartilage. The placement of these sutures and how tightly they are tied is very important as it will determine how the ear folds back. When there is a large concha bowl, a segment of this excessive cartilage is removed and additional sutures are used to pull the ear back and inward toward the head. In some cases, the ear lobe is also pulled back through an extension of the same incision. Once the ear is in the ideal position, the incision behind the ear is closed.
The most common benefit of otoplasty is the improved aesthetic balance of the ears. Those seeking otoplasty are usually self-conscious about the protrusion of their ears and this procedure is able to resolve their concerns, thus improving their self-image in this respect. Protruding ears can also be bothersome when wearing certain helmets or hats and otoplasty can improve this as well.
If you’re interested in getting a Otoplasty in Miami with Dr. Z, reviewing the contents of this page is a great first step as it will help you understand the essentials of the Otoplasty procedure and to see if it is the right choice for you. The next step is to set up a consultation with Dr. Z. For those that are reasonably close (within 1.5 hours), an in-person consultation is strongly encouraged as it allows Dr. Z to examine the neck and deeper structures through touch. For those out-of-state or from distant parts of Florida, a virtual consultation can be arranged.
The Consultation is a very important step in the process. Dr. Z listens to each patient very carefully in order to understand their unique aesthetic goals and concerns. He then evaluates the appearance of the neck and determines the underlying issues. Based on this discussion and examination, Dr. Z is able to provide a personalized recommendation and treatment plan for each patient. In some cases, one treatment (like a Otoplasty) is the recommended approach, while in other cases alternative or additional treatments may be suggested. Dr. Z prides himself on being open with all his patients, explaining the reasoning for his recommendations, and helping them make the best choice possible.
Once your procedure is booked, we will provide you with instructions that are specific to your procedure and health background. In general, patients are asked to avoid medications, supplements, and foods that increase the risk of bleeding for at least 1 week prior to surgery. Patients are also asked to avoid tanning for at least 1 week prior to surgery.
It is very important, to be honest regarding your health history, including all medical conditions, surgeries, complications with prior surgeries, family history, smoking status, drug use, medications and supplements, presence of cold sore / herpes outbreaks, and other factors that might impact surgery. The pre-operative work-up can range from simple blood tests, to an ekg, to specific medical clearances for those with health issues. Please remember, this is elective cosmetic surgery, safety is of the utmost importance and precautions should be respected.
The Otoplasty can vary between patients depending on the amount of laxity, underlying anatomy, and patient goals. It can also be performed awake, with sedation, or under general anesthesia. Refer to our page on understanding the differences between awake, sedation, and general anesthesia.
In order to help understand the Otoplasty procedure, Dr. Z likes to use the analogy of making a bed. The skin is like a thin cover over the bed, while the platysma muscle and fat are the comforter and pillows underneath. This helps illustrate the point that although the skin can result in surface wrinkles and excess at the surface, the shapes and contours of the neck are largely dependent on the deeper structures. Once these deeper structures are smoothed and tucked, the skin can be laid over them and conform to the new shape. In cases where there is mild skin excess and the skin itself has good elasticity, it will contract and conform without the need for additional procedures or skin removal. However, if the skin is unable to contract or has too much excess, some of it must be removed with additional incisions behind the ears.
In its simplest form, the Otoplasty is a platysmaplasty performed through a small incision (~3 – 4cm) just underneath the chin, where it is camouflaged by the natural crease. The surgery is then performed through this small opening as the skin is elevated from the underlying platysma muscle. This is the layer where we typically store some excess fat that can be removed with liposuction (if needed). The platysma muscle and the two bands (edges of the muscle) are then identified. The deep fat that contributes to fullness of this “under-chin” area is usually found under the platysma muscle (cannot be reached with liposuction), and so it is removed to improve the neck contour. The platysma muscle can then be addressed in a variety of ways. In most cases, Dr. Z prefers a modified platysmaplasty, where the platysma is just simply pulled together, but first carefully elevated, then tightened to the deeper structures. The lower part of the platysma is also cut in order to prevent the bands from reforming lower in the neck. This creates a very nice angulated and contoured neckline. In this case, the skin is simply allowed to heal back down and conform to the new shape.
The extended Otoplasty is performed in cases where there is a more significant excess of skin. We start off with the platysmaplasty as described above, but then proceed to make incisions around the ears as well. The incision can vary somewhat but generally starts just in front of the ear lobe, then proceeds behind the ear and down along the back hairline. This is just like the bottom portion of a facelift incision. We can then pull back on the outer part of the platysma muscle as well, anchoring it behind the ear and creating even more contour along the neck, especially under the angle of the jawline.
Immediately after the procedure, a bandage is placed around the head to provide compression, minimizing swelling and keeping the ears in a secure position. Dr. Z replaces this with a much lighter dressing 2-3 days after the surgery. The light dressing is actually a wide headband that patients wear all day for 1 week following surgery, removing it 2 times a day to shower and clean the incision behind the ear. After 1 week, patients are asked to wear the headband at night time only in order to avoid accidentally injuring the ears in their sleep for the next 6-8 weeks. Patients report that they get very used to this nighttime headband and feel more secure with it in place. Most of the pain and discomfort occurs during the first 2 days, and patients can manage this with a small dose of the prescribed pain medication. Some transition to standard over-the-counter medications as early as the day after surgery. In general, patients report pain to be mild to moderate. Restrictions after otoplasty include avoiding heavy lifting and straining during the first week after surgery. Those that do not mind wearing a headband to work and are not required to perform strenuous physical activities can usually return to work after 3 – 5 days. Most daily activities can be resumed after 1 week, but these should be cleared with Dr. Z first.
Dr. Z is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in facial aesthetics. His primary goal is to provide his patients with the same top-level care that he would expect for himself or a family member. He accomplishes this by focusing his knowledge and skills specifically on cosmetic procedures of the face and constantly staying up to date on the best techniques.
TThe costs of otoplasty in Miami can vary on a number of factors including the complexity of the case and the need for anesthesia. Prices can also change with time, usually increases over time as most things in the economy tend to do. This is one of the reasons we do not post prices online, however, we will be happy to give a price estimate to those that call to inquire. Our prices are not the lowest, however, we maintain them at a fair value for the level of expertise and care that is provided by our practice. During your consultation with Dr. Z, he’ll be able to provide his expert recommendations, give you pricing, and answer any questions.
Our patients feel that ear pinning (otoplasty) is a very worthy procedure as it corrects an issue that has often bothered them for a very long time and can thus improve self-confidence. If you’d like to book a consultation with Dr. Z for otoplasty in our Miami-based office, please call our office. Our practice is perfectly situated in Hallandale, just several minutes from the Aventura Mall. We see patients from many different states, with most coming from all over southern Florida, including but not limited to Fort Lauderdale, Sunny Isles, Aventura, Miami, Westin, Plantation, and Boca. Dr. Z Prefers to meet and examine his patients in person but also understands that it is not always possible for those located great distances away. Virtual consultations can be arranged for out-of-state patients and those over 2 hours away.