Otoplasty or Ear Pinning surgery reshape ears that protrude too far from the head. 

You might also consider otoplasty if your ears are misshapen due to an injury or birth defect. 

Cosmetic ear surgery may be performed as early as 7 years of age, but often is performed in adults as well.

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Otoplasty : techniques and incisions

Otoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under general or local anaesthesia. 

Incisions are made on the back of the ear and small portions of fat and skin tissue are removed. 

The cartilage is reshaped, repositioned and held into place with sutures.

Frequently asked questions

Before surgery, Dr. Ballieux will give you specific recovery instructions for ear surgery patients. While patient experiences vary, you can expect recovery to follow this general timeline:

First 1 to 2 Days
You will need a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery, to stay with you for the first 24 hours, and possibly a day or so longer.

Sleeping in a recliner or propped up with pillows will help minimize swelling. You can expect to be up and about the day after surgery. You can use medication prescribed by your plastic surgeon to control discomfort, if needed..

Follow-up Appointment
You will have a follow-up appointment approximately 5 days after surgery.

Return to Work
A headband is required during recovery.

Most patients are ready to return to their everyday activities within 1 to 2 weeks, and physical activities are limited for one month or more.

Ear pinning is a safe procedure. Complications related this surgery will be discussed in details in consultation. 

Risks include infection, bleeding, poor scarring, relapse, ear irregularities and asymmetry. 

All of these potential risks will be discussed with you during your pre-surgical consultation and you will be given a comprehensive list of pre- and post-operative instructions. Following these instructions carefully will reduce the chances of complication and improve your chances of a successful surgery.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin two weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medication. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease medication. This is not an all-inclusive list. 

Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkgo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anaesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery.

Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6 to 8 weeks prior to surgery.

In many cases this procedure is partially covered by insurance. 

The cost for Otoplasty procedures depends on the complexity of the procedure.

Otoplasty : before and after photos

An iPad with before & after pictures to illustrate the results will be available.

Follow @dr.fannyballieux on Instagram to see results photos that our patients send in!


We worked together at the children’s hospital Westmead. Dr Ballieux is a passionate doctor.

Martin Gott

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