Pinnaplasty is a cosmetic surgery involving adjusting the position, size and shape of one’s ears.

Some choose to have a pinnaplasty to correct a structural abnormality. In some cases, people born without their ears opt to get it done to have a normal appearance. Hence, this form of surgery has both an aesthetic appeal and a functional one.


What is pinnaplasty?

The surgery is performed on the visible portion of the outer ear, called the auricle or pinna. The pinna constitutes folds of cartilage covered in skin. It begins to develop before birth and continues for years after birth. In case the pinna does not develop properly, one may choose to have a pinnaplasty to correct the shape, size and position of your ears.

There are various types of pinnaplasty surgeries:


Who is a good candidate for pinnaplasty?

Good candidates for pinnaplasty include:


What is involved in the procedure?

The first step would involve sitting with the consultant and discussing the treatment plan. It allows the patient to talk to the doctor and clear whatever doubts they may have. The doctor would examine the ear to devise the correct measurements for the patient.

The surgery takes around 2 to 3 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. Pinnaplasty usually involves various stages of surgery. The first stage is where cartilage graft is harvested from the ribs and placed under the skin of the ear. The second stage involves lifting the cartilage and ensuring the protrusion from the head is correct. The third stage requires shaping the ear according to the patient’s facial structure. In some cases, a fourth stage may be needed that involves further improving the shape of the ear.



Just like with any other surgery, the risk of general anaesthesia is present. However, the chances of complications arising from anaesthesia are very rare. Other risk factors include localised infection, bleeding at the surgical site, pain, swelling, graft rejection, ears may seem sore, redness.


Post-Operative Management

Usually, patients would be kept in the hospital for two days after the procedure. The doctor may insert a drain under the skin to prevent fluid accumulation. Once the drain has been removed, the patient can go home. Care needs to be taken to let the ear heal properly, hence, make sure not to sleep on the operated ear and also preferably use buttoned clothes to prevent pulling clothes over the ears.

Routine follow-ups are a must so that the stitches can be removed and the doctor can assess your healing. Your doctor may require you to come for regular check-ups for three months. This allows the surgeon to assess and plan for the next stage of the pinnaplasty surgery.

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