Otoplasty Melbourne – Ear Pinning Surgery

Dr Stephen Kleid is an Otoplasty surgeon with board certification and decades of experience in ENT Surgery. He specialises in cosmetic surgery of the ear, nose, and throat, he also performs reconstructive surgeries.

Even if your ears appear to be hidden by the sides of the face, they are an important part of facial aesthetics. Ears that point outwards or are too large can be a source of concern for many people, as can ears with a birth defect or defects caused by physical injuries. Ear surgery, also known as an otoplasty procedure, is required to improve the appearance of your ears. Depending on the reason for the procedure, there are various types of otoplasty procedures. If you have outward-pointing or protruding ears, you can undergo an ear pinning otoplasty procedure.

What is an Otoplasty Procedure?

The otoplasty procedure is a complex cosmetic surgery procedure. Surgeons mainly perform this procedure to improve the physical appearance of the ears. During the procedure the surgeon will alter, the shape, size, and even position of the ears to combat any structural abnormalities that may be present. 

The otoplasty procedure simply refers to the ear procedure and has three different procedures that can be performed, namely:

  • Ear reduction surgery
  • Ear pinning surgery
  • And, Ear augmentation surgery

During surgery your surgeon operates on both ears, simultaneously, to improve their appearance and symmetry. As mentioned above, it is performed for a wide variety of reasons, such as:

  • Protruding ears
  • Trauma to the ears
  • Congenital or birth defects

The otoplasty procedure’s main purpose is to enhance the appearance and treat any physical birth defects that may be present in the external ear. Patients may also under this procedure to treat trauma to the ear as physical blows can deform the external ear. It is important to point that out the otoplasty procedure does not improve the functionality of the ear or alter the internal ear in any way. 

Ideal Candidates for Otoplasty-Ear Pinning Procedure

otoplasty surgery melbourne

An otoplasty procedure may seem like an easy procedure to fix the appearance of the ear, but it is much more than that and requires a specialist surgeon. It also requires you to meet eligibility criteria before undergoing the procedure to ensure that you are healthy and can tolerate the results of the procedure. 

The ideal candidate for the ear pinning otoplasty surgery is:

  • Over the age of 5 years, (which is when our ears almost reach the adult size)
  • Suffering from outward, pointy, or protruding ears
  • Wishing to undergo a revisional otoplasty to correct overcorrection or other complications of the procedure
  • Is healthy both physically and mentally
  • Is aware of what the procedure can acis performed and what it entails
  • Is a non-smoker or willing to quit six weeks in advance. Smoking impairs blood flow and after a surgical procedure, reduced blood flow can result in poor wound healing.

Benefits of the Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty, before and after

The otoplasty procedure can help correct birth defects and improve the external appearance of the ear. Many with deformed ears, as a result of congenital injuries or physical trauma, are often insecure and self-conscious about the shape, size, and position of the ear. Otoplasty can help alleviate their stress by correcting the issue at hand. This is exactly why the otoplasty procedure is believed to have strong psychological and mental health benefits. It improves the confidence and self-worth of the patients, which is definitely good for their mental health.

The physical benefits of the otoplasty procedure are apparent by just looking at the ears. The procedure can make the ears lie flatter on the side of your head so that they don’t stick out as much. Surgeons also often reposition them along with flattening them to give the results of the procedure a natural look. If you are struggling with your large, prominent ears, then this procedure will reduce the prominence and alter their size to fit your face better. 

The physical and mental benefits of the procedure are responsible for its wide popularity. The procedure is a considerably safe procedure and the easiest way for anyone over the age of 5 years to improve the appearance of their ears. 

Your Otoplasty Journey

Your otoplasty journey begins during the consultation period where you have to first decide exactly which type of otoplasty procedure you want to undergo. The journey ends with the recovery period where you should be extremely careful to not harm the results of the procedure. 


During the consultation period, you and your surgeon will discuss your reasons for wanting to undergo the surgery and the right type of surgery for you. It’s also important you are extremely candid about your expectations from the surgery. This period is right before the actual surgery and you should make sure that the surgeon is aware of the results you want. 

It’s important you use this time to better understand the procedure and all the potential risks and complications that may arise. This is so that you can make an informed decision. This is also when you will need to meet the eligibility criteria in order to continue your surgical journey.


The surgery for otoplasty, specifically ear pinning surgery, can take anywhere between one hour to three hours, depending on the extent of pinning required. Although some surgeons use local anaesthesia to perform the procedure, Dr Kleid predominantly uses General anaesthesia.  

The procedure begins with the surgeon making incisions in the back of the ear. Then they will remove cartilage and skin from that area. This reduces the size of the ears. After this, your surgeon will pin the ear back by using permanent sutures to close the incisions. This is the end of the surgical phase of your journey.  

Recovery from the Otoplasty Procedure

The recovery from the otoplasty procedure, (regardless of the subtype), takes around 4 weeks to 6 weeks in total. You will be able to resume your daily life activities way before the recovery period ends but you should be careful to not put pressure on the incisions while going about your day. The slightest pressure could result in swelling, bruising, and pain that might alter the results of the procedure. 

For any discomfort or pain that may be present during the first week of the recovery period, you can either ask your surgeon to prescribe pain management medications for you or you can use OTC painkillers. You should wear a headband throughout the recovery period to hold the results of the procedure in place. 

During the entire recovery period, you should refrain from smoking and drinking. Refraining from drinking is especially important if your surgeon prescribes you antibiotics for your recovery period. Furthermore, we suggest you also try to sleep alone, and on your back, so as to not put any pressure on the incisions or hurt them in any other way. 

Risks and Complications of the Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty procedures and all of their sub-types are complex, major surgical procedures. They are associated with quite an increased risk of complications, especially if not performed by a trained and experienced surgeon. You are also more likely to suffer from side effects of the procedure if you aren’t careful during the consultation and recovery periods. 

The major side effects of the otoplasty procedure are:

  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthesia
  • Bleeding 
  • Significant, thick scarring
  • Asymmetry of the ears
  • Transient numbness of the skin
  • Swelling due to the stitches moving to the surface of the skin
  • Overcorrection; this requires a revisional otoplasty as it makes the ears look overtly pinned back, and unnatural.

Why Choose Dr Stephen Kleid?

Dr Stephen Kleid is an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon with board certification and decades of experience under his belt. He specializes in plastic and cosmetic surgery of the ear, nose, and throat while also performing reconstructive surgeries for those with head and neck cancers. Dr Kleid is highly trained and a member of the different academies and societies, relating to the field of surgery and plastic surgery. Dr Kleid has worked and trained in different countries, focusing on improving his technique to allow his patients to benefit from both cosmetic and functional benefits. He prioritizes his patients’ safety and satisfaction to ensure they get the results they want in the healthiest and safest way possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is otoplasty a major surgery?

Even though an Otoplasty procedure is a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the ears, it is also a major surgical procedure. It requires at least four to six weeks of the recovery period. 

Is otoplasty surgery painful?

Many surgeons perform an Otoplasty surgery under local anaesthesia without any intravenous sedation. You will be awake during the procedure but your ears will be numb. Other surgeons choose to perform the procedure under General anaesthesia, this means the patient is unconscious during the procedure. Either way, the surgery itself is not painful at all.

That being said, during the recovery period patients will feel mild to moderate discomfort and pain. Fortunately, it is easy to manage it with over-the-counter pain killers. 

How long does it take to recover from otoplasty?

The recovery period from otoplasty is around four weeks to six weeks long. You will need to wear an elastic headband throughout the recovery period. However, you can go about your daily life after the first couple of weeks. 

Does otoplasty last forever?

Otoplasty, if performed on an adult has permanent results that will last a lifetime. This is because the ear does not go through any major physical growth or change after it has grown to its adult potential. If the procedure is performed at a younger age due to birth defects or congenital deformities, then the results may change with time. 

Can you have otoplasty twice?

Otoplasty is a major surgical procedure that requires complex techniques. The technique your surgeon chooses will depend on the reason for undergoing the procedure. The procedure should only be performed by a skilled and certified cosmetic surgeon. Furthermore, care should be taken during the recovery period to ensure proper healing. If not, then a revisional surgery to correct the errors made during the first one or to combat improper wound healing will be needed. Generally, the results of the procedure are permanent and do not require a second procedure. 

Can ears go back to normal after otoplasty?

Ears can go back to normal in the sense that they can ‘relax’ after the otoplasty procedure. This can give the impression that the ear has grown. However, any changes to the ear after the otoplasty procedure, due to the relaxing of the ear, are minimal and hard to notice. 

How do they pin back ears?

Ear pinning surgery is a type of otoplasty procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to enhance the natural appearance of the ears. The surgeon will remove cartilage and skin from the behind of the ear, and then suture the ears to ‘pin’ them. The sutures used for the procedure are permanent and the results permanent. 

How do you sleep after otoplasty?

Sleeping after otoplasty, much like other cosmetic and plastic surgeries, requires you to be on your back. Sleeping on your side can put pressure on the incisions from your procedure and impair the wound healing process. It is also recommended to sleep alone while the sutures set. Sleeping with a loved one or a pet can result in accidents and injuries.

When can I shower after otoplasty?

You can shower on day two of your recovery period. You just need to make sure to not rub the back of your ear, where the incisions are and do not soak your incisions as both will result in complications and poor wound healing. 

Further Medical Reading

Why Choose Dr Kleid for Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery?

Dr Stephen Kleid
Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon (Otolaryngologist)

Masada Medical Centre
26 Balaclava Road,
East St Kilda, Victoria

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in St Kilda.

Dr Kleid’s Procedures

How can we help?

Dr Kleid’s Team takes pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering ENT surgery. Please call the Masada in Melbourne between 9 am – 5 pm on Weekdays.

Phone Masada Hospital 03 9038 1630 or Email Dr Kleid