Otoplasty, commonly referred to as ear pinning, is a standard plastic surgical procedure that corrects the ears’ position and shape. Otoplasty involves incisions, tissue manipulation, and cartilage reshaping/removal.

Much like other plastic surgical procedures, otoplasty has been subject to various misconceptions. In this post, we’ve busted the common myths about otoplasty.

common myth otoplasty

Otoplasty, commonly referred to as ear pinning, is a standard plastic surgical procedure that corrects the ears’ position and shape. Otoplasty involves incisions, tissue manipulation, and cartilage reshaping/removal.

Much like other plastic surgical procedures, otoplasty has been subject to various misconceptions. In this post, we’ve busted the common myths about otoplasty.

Myth 1: Otoplasty is a Simple Procedure

Otoplasty is often assumed to be a simple procedure, but the truth is that an experienced surgeon is necessary. Otoplasty is often over-done with the ears pushed too close to the head. It is important to strike the balance between pinning the ears back but at the same time making it look natural like nothing was done. The outer rim of the ear should still be visible from the front after the operation and there should be no sharp edges or irregularities

Myth 2: Otoplasty is a Painful Procedure

Every surgical procedure comes with some post-surgical pain, but the discomfort after otoplasty can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers and only lasts a few days.

Myth 3: Otoplasty Takes Years to Show Results

Results are apparent immediately. Of course, there will be some swelling but patients are usually very happy as soon as the dressing is removed because they can already see where the shape is heading. The swelling is mostly gone within 2 weeks and completely gone in 6 weeks or so.  

Myth 4: Otoplasty Requires a Long Hospital Stay

All otoplasty surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, and almost all are performed under local anesthesia. In young children, a general anesthetic is required but the patients always go home the same day.

Myth 5: Otoplasty is Not Necessary to Correct Protruding Ears

Many people assume that protruding ears may correct themselves over time. But the fact is that the ears reach 80% of their adult size by the time a child is 5 years old. Therefore, a child’s ears will look proportionately the same when he or she grows into an adult. Otoplasty is the only permanent solution to the problem. Neonatal ear molding, which is helpful for some unusual ear shapes, is generally not effective for prominent ears.

Myth 6: Otoplasty is Meant Only for Children

Otoplasty can literally be performed at any age, from age 4 years to old age.

Myth 7: Otoplasty Affects Hearing

Otoplasty does not affect hearing.

Myth 8: Otoplasty will result in Symmetrical Ears

Otoplasty will not result in perfectly, 100% symmetrical ears. One will always be a tiny bit closer to the head than the other. No one except you will notice. Any difference will be extremely minor.

Consult a Plastic Surgeon

If you are concerned about the position, shape or size of your ears, be sure to consult with a plastic surgeon specializing in otoplasty. The surgeon will examine your ears and tell you whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. The consultation will provide you with an opportunity to inquire about the procedure in detail and will probably relieve your doubts, hesitations, and misconceptions 

Dr. Charles Thorne is an expert plastic surgeon with special expertise in ear surgery including otoplasty with over 30 years of experience. Schedule an online consultation with Dr. Throne to discuss your concerns and see if otoplasty can help you!

In The Media


Dr. Thorne is consistently highlighted in every publication profiling the Best Doctors in Manhattan or the Best Doctors in the entire United States. He has been featured in the New York Times multiple years running, as well as America's Top Doctors, and has hosted a radio show on plastic surgery alongside dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks.


  • New York Best Doctors 2019
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  • New York Best Doctors 2014
  • New York Best Doctors 2008


  • New York Best Doctors 2005
  • Americas Top Doctors 2002
  • Castle Connolly 10th
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