Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)

Children born with misshaped or protruding ears are often the target of schoolyard teasing. Even as they grow older, their self-consciousness remains. At ACENT in Anchorage, we correct misshapen or protruding ears with otoplasty (ear surgery). Although some adults we see from Wasilla, Palmer, and surrounding areas seek cosmetic surgery for ears, we perform most of our otoplasty procedures on children. Newborn children with mild ear deformities can benefit from the Earwell™ Infant Ear Correction System.



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Otoplasty is a relatively straightforward procedure. For young children, we recommend general anesthesia; adults can choose local anesthesia for otoplasty. The procedure itself in most cases involves making a small incision behind the ear to expose cartilage, adjusting the cartilage so the ear is closer to the head, then using permanent sutures to maintain the ear’s shape and position. Ear surgery to correct deformities is usually performed at age 5 or 6, prior to the child beginning school. When you visit ACENT, you can ask about medical ear surgery such as ear tubes for your child as well.

Earwell™ Infant Ear Correction System

As many as 1 in 3 infants are born with an ear deformity. We offer the Earwell system, a painless, non-surgical option for newborns to re-shape mildly deformed ears. The Earwell system must be started within the first few weeks of a baby’s life to be effective, but can permanently improve the shape of infants’ ears without surgery. The Earwell system is covered by most health insurance plans.

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Kathy 50-year-old patient, after upper and lower blepharoplasty

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Patients typically wear a bandage around the head for about a week after surgery to help the ears heal properly. Pediatric patients – especially younger children – will often have a harder time following post-operative instructions. Parents will have to take special care that children don’t tug at the dressing, or manipulate the ears for about a month after surgery. Children generally need to wait about a week before resuming normal activities, including contact sports. Adults usually return to their normal routines within a few days.

If you think your child’s ears might result in teasing and are considering otoplasty, we encourage you to request a consultation at our Anchorage office. You can also call us at  (907) 279-8800 to schedule an appointment to speak with a member of our team.

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