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 just finished day seven of my post-surgery checkup with Dr Fernau, and here’s my personal experience. Upon arrival of my consultation, I was greeted by the friendliest staff. Every one of them helped in my progression, aided in my treatments, calmed my anxiety, and exceeded my expectations. Scheduling surgery and getting the medications for the operation were straightforward. As for the surgery, the instructions were clear, the procedure explained, and questions answered. The results were beyond what I expected. Dr Fernau is exceptionally passionate about his work and cares for his patients. The open communication that Dr Fernau has with his staff is what creates such a successful business model and positive outcomes for his patients. After surgery I had difficulty walking, and one of the staff members helped my wife with taking me home. The compassion, dedication, and excellence that I experienced with Dr Fernau and his staff give me the pleasure of providing the highest of recommendations."- C.M. / Google / Nov 24, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Fernau! If you are looking for a surgeon who cares about his patients and pays attention to detail, look no further. He is extremely talented and precise in everything he does. He is a leader in patient safety and recovery. He takes every measure to assure a good experience from start to finish. He is up to date on the techniques, technology and the latest developments in this field. He is meticulous and treats his patients like family. After my initial consultation with Dr. Fernau I knew he would be the one I would trust for my own care, and after the ensuing experience with him and his staff I was convinced he is the only one I would also trust to care for my family."- A.B. / Google / Nov 13, 2019
"I was very nervous about having any type of surgery let alone plastic surgery. I researched several doctors and had 3 consults. I am so very pleased with my results and with the entire process. Dr. Fernau was amazing. He explained everything and took the time to answer my questions. He has an eye for detail and strives for perfection. Highly, highly recommend. I felt safe and secure with him as my surgeon. Follow up with so easy and timely. Overall the procedure had very little pain or down time. Would do it again."- S.W. / Google / Oct 10, 2019
"I was very nervous about having any type of surgery let alone plastic surgery (breast reduction). I researched many doctors and had 3 consults. I am so very pleased with my results and with the entire process. Dr. Fernau was amazing. He explained everything and took the time to answer my questions. He has an eye for detail and strives for perfection. Highly, highly recommend. I felt safe and secure with him as my surgeon. Follow up was so easy and timely. Overall the procedure had very little pain or down time. The results are amazing. Wish I would have done it years ago. Would do it again. And would go with Dr. Fernau a thousand times over."- C.S. / Facebook / Oct 10, 2019
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.
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.
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.