Huntsville Alabama Oral | Facial & Cosmetic Surgery's Blog

Ear Surgery Procedure Steps

Ear Surgery Procedure StepsEar pinning is a plastic surgery procedure that can be undertaken using different techniques. The degree of correction in the patient’s ear is a factor in determining the choice of technique.

At the time of the pre-operative consultation, the surgeon will inform the patient about the procedure steps to help them make a judicious choice. Dr. Landon D. McLain provides ear reshaping surgery to patients in Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and surrounding locations.



Ear pinning or ear reshaping plastic surgery is a relatively less invasive procedure that requires only local anesthesia with sedation for adult patients. But in case the procedure is undertaken on a child, it will often involve the use of general anesthesia.

A qualified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will remain in attendance throughout the procedure to oversee the patient’s response in case general anesthesia is used. The time taken to complete the procedure is typically two hours or less. 


Incision and Cartilage Reshaping

After the patient is under the effect of the anesthesia, the surgeon will commence the surgery by placing an incision behind the ear. The incision will be made in a hidden location to ensure that any future scarring remains discreet. The incision is made to expose the cartilage and reshape it. 

The surgeon will perform the reshaping delicately and with high precision to develop asymmetrical and proportionate ear shape. In case the ears are overly large, the procedure may involve a significant amount of cartilage elimination. The incisions may also be used to remove excess skin.


Ear Repositioning

In some patients, the ear may be excessively protuberant from the head. For such patients, the surgeon will reposition the ears closer to the sides of the head after reshaping the cartilage. This is called ear pinning.

It will typically combine skin removal from the back of the ear, cartilage sparing, and scoring techniques. An individualized combination of techniques will enable the surgeon to develop an appealing shape and position of the patient’s ears. 


Incision Closure 

The surgeon will seal the incisions with absorbable stitches or sutures once the ear reshaping procedure is complete. They will then temporarily cover the incision area with bandages. 


Outpatient Procedure

After the otoplasty procedure is complete, the patient will be moved to an observation area for some time. The patient may be allowed to go home as they recover from the immediate effects of the surgery and anesthesia. They should ask a responsible person to drive them back home after the procedure. 

In case the patient is a child, the surgeon often recommends an overnight hospital stay for closer observation. Adult patients may require an overnight stay only if a complication occurs or the ear reshaping is undertaken along with another procedure. 

There may be more steps involved in reconstructive ear surgeries to address congenital issues or injuries such as burns, lacerations, or torn and infected piercings. Dr. Landon D. McLain receives patients from Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and nearby areas for ear surgery. 

McLain Surgical Arts is a leading cosmetic surgery practice headed by Dr. Landon D. McLain MD, DMD, FACS in Huntsville, AL. Dr. McLain is a double board certified cosmetic and oral & maxillofacial surgeon, offering a variety of procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. For more information or to schedule a consultation call 256.429.3411 or click here.

Now taking patients from Huntsville, Scottsboro, Decatur, Madison, Athens, Florence, Cullman, AL and surrounding areas.

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