Ear pinning (pinnaplasty/otoplasty)

What is ear pinning (a pinnaplasty/otoplasty)?

Ear pinning, also known as a pinnaplasty or otoplasty, is an operation to improve the appearance of your ears.

Is a pinnaplasty/otoplasty for me?

You are most likely to benefit from an otoplasty if you are self-conscious about your ears, you are being teased or if you have unusually-shaped ears.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your ears should have a better shape (see figure 1).

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

For adults, surgery is the only option to change the shape of your ears.

Ear pinning otoplasty pinnaplasty diagram

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about an hour.

Your surgeon will make a cut at the back of your ear and peel off some skin from the cartilage. They will change the shape of the cartilage so your ear lies closer to your head. Your surgeon may need to use stitches to hold your ear in position and to create folds.

Your surgeon may also make a cut at the front of your ear and peel back your skin so they can lightly score the cartilage. This technique tends to make the cartilage bend towards the head.

Your surgeon will place a dressing on your head to give your ears support.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Unsightly scarring


Specific complications

  • Cosmetic problems

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after. For a few weeks, while the swelling and bruising settles, rest and do not do strenuous exercise.

You can return to work after the head dressing has been removed.

Do not play sports for six weeks.

The results of an otoplasty are usually permanent.


An otoplasty is an operation to improve the appearance of your ears. The operation should be performed only if the aim is to improve your self-confidence and to make you more comfortable with your appearance. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

Self-pay guide price

Bilateral pinnaplasty (both ears) – under local anaesthetic       from £2,710

Bilateral pinnaplasty (both ears) – under general anaesthetic  from £3,010

Unilateral pinnaplasty (one ear) – under local anaesthetic       from £2,460

Please email our Business Office or call 01295 252281 for a personally tailored quote.


Self-pay package details

Ear pinning (pinnaplasty/otoplasty) is performed at The Foscote Hospital by

  • Mr Oliver Cassell cosmetic surgeon

    Mr Oliver Cassell

    Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeon


    Learn more
  • Tim Goodacre

    Mr Tim Goodacre

    Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeon


    Learn more


Author: Mr Eoin O’Broin MD FRCS (Plast.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.


Copyright © 2018 EIDO Healthcare Limited. The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and used under licence by The Foscote Hospital. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use.