Prominent ears are a common problem amongst both adults and children and while some people are happy to live with ears that stick out slightly more, for others, it’s a constant source of embarrassment.

Whether you’re worried that your child might be a victim of bullying at school or you want to correct your own ears in an effort to regain your confidence, otoplasty can help.

Otoplasty: A Basic Description

Also known as ear pinning, otoplasty works on the shape, size and position of one or both ears, leaving the patient with less prominent ears that are more symmetrical. Otoplasty can be used to correct ear deformities that have been present since birth or are the result of an injury that occurred later in life.

There are three main approaches to ear pinning, including incisionless, single incision and double incision. Let’s look at the difference between these options.

Otoplasty Incision Options


As the name suggests, there is the option of scheduling an incisionless otoplasty procedure, however, there are limits to what can be corrected. Incisionless otoplasty is ideal for patients who only require minor corrections such as adjusting the ear fold.

During the procedure, permanent sutures are used to pin the ears back and only a local anaesthetic is required. In order for a child to be considered for the incisionless option, they will need to be at least 8 years old, which means their ears are fully mature.

These non-surgical otoplasty details & image gallery will give you a better idea of what’s possible.

Single Incision

This technique involves creating one incision along the back of the ear from which the cartilage can be accessed, reshaped and repositioned to correct each ear. Surgeons will make the incision as inconspicuous as possible and will close it with sutures that will need to be removed later on at a follow up appointment.

Double Incision

This technique allows for the correction of all issues relating to prominent ears but it does require two incisions – one at the back of the ears and one at the front. The double incision technique is very precise, allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and cartilage with ease.

Patients who want a soft, natural ear contour should look into the double incision technique, particularly if additional corrections need to be done over and above pinning the ears back. Your surgeon will do everything possible to ensure that the incisions and any scarring are minimally visible after your procedure. Any scarring that does appear will fade over time anyway. Patients considering the double incision otoplasty method need to be in good health and at least 5 years of age.

Parents should consider this procedure for their child if they’ve started exhibiting behavioural changes that are linked to low self-esteem.

During your consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your ears and take you through each of your options before making a recommendation. Every patient has different requirements and preferences, both of which will be taken into account during your consultation.