Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) Overview
Ear surgery, or an otoplasty, reshapes and repositions the ears so they fit better with the natural contour of the face. This procedure corrects ears that are too large or protrude outward. Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau, has keen anatomical eyes and skilled surgical touches for otoplasty surgery, and incorporates specific techniques to restructure the ear cartilages into a natural shape. Otoplasty gives patients the confidence to show their entire face from every angle without anxiety about their ears.
What Sets Us Apart
Dr. James Fernau is a highly trained, double board-certified surgeon who makes patient safety his number one concern. He has performed hundreds of successful otoplasty surgeries over the course of 20 plus years. His skill and expertise gives patients the peace of mind that they are in the trusted hands of a specialist and that their ears will look so natural after the surgery friends and family will think they were born with them.
"If you want to be treated like family and get world class treatment at a very very reasonable cost this is the place to be. Thanks a lot doctor, and you wonderful staff. The best experience I have had at any doctor's office."- P.G. / Facebook / Sep 02, 2015
"I saw Dr. Fernau about having a microneedling procedure to correct scarring. He was professional, friendly, and clearly explained the treatment details. Many thanks to Cindy (Aesthetician) who was great! She was conscientious and made me feel comfortable during all the treatments. Dr. Fernau and his entire staff were so friendly and made me feel welcome in the office. I would highly recommend Dr. Fernau and his team to anyone interested in having plastic surgery."- C.B. / Google / Mar 13, 2020
"Skin Care at Dr. James Fernau's office with Esthetician Cindy.I have been a client of Cindy for many years. She is amazingly knowledgeable of skincare and various skin treatments. She will no steer you wrong. She is honest and has the clients' best interest at heart. She puts you at ease and there is absolutely no intimidation with her. She produces results! I highly recommend Cindy!"- B.B. / Google / Mar 06, 2020
"Had a severely deviated septum from past injuries. Dr. Fernau fixed me up and my breathing is now great. His staff is fantastic, from Sheila to Josh - I felt valued and informed throughout the process, pre through post op."- D.W. / Google / Feb 27, 2020
"Thank you fellow reviewers!!! You are so right!!!! Based on your reviews, I chose Dr. Fernau for my injectable adventure. I was terrified because years ago I had a bad experience but from the initial contact with Josh I knew this was the right choice. Have you ever had fun making an appointment? Well Josh is super! His easy going manner, super personality and patience answering questions was beyond what would normally be expected. Upon arrival at the office, he made you feel welcomed like a friend, rather than one of many consumers. And that feeling continued as Amber, Dr. Fernau's Medical Assistant ushered me back to the office where she too exhibited patience and caring with all my questions and concerns. She also is a joy! When I met Dr. Fernau, he was thorough, patient, confident, caring and made my fears disappear. He answered all my questions without fatigue and I felt instantly comfortable. I can't explain the confidence I had in him after I met with him, and as it turned out, that confidence was well deserved. What I love about Dr. Fernau is that my injection outcome seemed as important to him as a major plastic surgery event. I am very pleased with the results and appreciate the time Dr.Fernau gave me over a few weeks to make sure everything turned out perfect! During the course of those visits I met with Sheila, who also is proficient in injectables. She is so pleasant and was also very concerned with a good outcome. I also met Cindy the Aesthetician, who was so gracious, speaking with me regarding other possible procedures down the line. Really, I couldn't be happier!!! Thank you Dr. Fernau for your excellence and your total office experience. I will be back. See you soon!"- C.M. / Google / Feb 25, 2020
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) Surgical Technique
Dr. Fernau tailors each surgical technique to the patient’s specific needs and will depend on the abnormality. First, there may be an insufficient amount of ear cartilage to support the fold of the ear, or too much cartilage where the ear canal starts. Both issues will cause the ear to protrude outward. In some cases, the ears may appear too large. Regardless of the condition, the cartilage will usually be addressed and either removed or reshaped. Then, the cartilage will be secured with sutures into a new position closer to the head. The incision is generally placed within the natural folds of the ear so scarring is not an issue.
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) During/After Surgery
Otoplasty surgery can be performed under general or “twilight” anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at our certified in-office surgical suite. The entire surgery typically takes about 2 hours to complete. After surgery, patients wear a special protective dressing over their ears. Adults will wear the dressing for approximately 2 days or as directed by the surgeon. Otoplasty patients experience very little pain, although they may experience some swelling right after surgery. The ears may feel a bit tender for several weeks.
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) Expected Cost
The cost for an otoplasty will vary depending on the complexity of the surgical case. However, the average cost for ear pinning surgery ranges between $3,500-$5.500. Otoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, and therefore, is not covered by insurance.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $3,500 - $5,500
- Recovery Time
- 1-2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Day
- Procedure Recovery Location
Ear Surgery FAQs
The positive improvements made with otoplasty surgery are usually quite significant and can last a lifetime. However, just like any other cosmetic procedure, aging and gravity may cause increased laxity over time.
Children between the ages of 4-6 are considered within the ideal range for this surgery. From an anatomical standpoint, the cartilage is still soft and can be easier to remold and manipulate. From a psychological standpoint, having this surgery before starting elementary school can also help avoid teasing and ridicule from classmates. However, it is also common that adults, who have been bothered by their protruding ears since they were children, elect to have corrective otoplasty surgery later in life.
Both Ears or Just One?
In the majority of cases, both ears are affected. Therefore, surgery is performed on both ears. However, there may sometimes be an abnormality in just one ear. If this is the case, surgery will be performed on the affected ear, which will be made to match the opposing ear.