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Ear Surgery

Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) in Pittsburgh, PA

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what is ear surgery (otoplasty)?

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 Dr. fernau 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.

What Are The Benefits Of Ear Surgery?

  • Addresses a wide variety of ear issues
  • Reduces the prominence of overly large ears
  • Repositions ears that stick out to lay flatter against the head
  • Corrects congenital ear abnormalities
  • Achieves a more natural look to the ears
  • Restores self-confidence
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery) is safe and effective
  • Can be done for children as young as 4 – 6

how is ear surgery (otoplasty) done?

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.

how long is recovery after ear 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.

how much does ear surgery 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.

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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  
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Ear Surgery FAQ

Permanent Results?

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.

Ideal Age?

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.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.