Ear pinning, also known as otoplasty, is plastic surgery that corrects the shape of the ears. This type of plastic surgery helps correct protruding ears, or ears that stick out. It’s one of the fastest-growing plastic surgeries for children. Since otoplasty can be preformed on children as young as 5, there are some risks involved.
Sometimes the plastic surgeon can place the patient’s ears too close to the head. This is known as overcorrection of the ears. This sometimes can occur during the ear pinning procedure. It’s important for you to find a plastic surgeon with otoplasty experience and who is recognized by the local board of plastic surgeons. With a qualified and experienced surgeon, you’ll lessen your chances of overcorrection.
According to Ring Surf, keloids can develop after ear pinning surgery. A keloid is a bigger, thicker scar that grows from the original scar. These types of scars don’t fade away and are hard to conceal. Even though it’s not a health risk, some children may feel uncomfortable with their noticeable scarring.
Hematomas can happen in extreme and rare cases. According to Ring Surf, a hematoma is when there is “an excessive amount of blood in or around the ear.” This sometimes relates to an infection within the cartilage. In severe cases, a surgeon would have to remove the hematoma. This is not something to take lightly, since Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary states that hematomas can cause headaches, confusion and dizziness.
Sometimes, there are allergies involved with ear pinning surgery. This is especially the case in younger patients. The patient may be allergic to the equipment–such as the tape, suture materials, topical preparations or injection agents. Allergies such as these can cause wheezing, rashes or anaphylactic shock. It’s important to for the patient, parent and doctor to be aware of these allergies.
There is a chance that the sutures may loosen after the ear pinning surgery. This will cause the patient’s ears to protrude again. In this case, the patient would have to go back for additional surgery.
References and ResourcesRing Surf: Ear Pinning Surgery
"Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary;" Donald Venes, M.D; 2009