William Vinyard, MD, FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

Ear Surgery

Ear Cosmetic Plastic Surgery – Ear Pinning – Earlobe Tear Repair – Otoplasty – Port Saint Lucie, FL*

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What is Ear Surgery?

We see patients of all ages at Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery (VIPS) especially children with ears that protrude outward, are misshapen, or not the same size. When the ears are disproportionate to the face or are asymmetrical, it can negatively impact self-confidence and self-esteem. Our Port Saint Lucie, FL board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. William Vinyard, has assisted countless women, men, and children overcome the embarrassment of their ear malformations with surgery. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping, is an outpatient surgical procedure used to correct the size, position, protrusion, or a combination of techniques to reshape the ears. Ear deformities can include split earlobes, prominent ears, cupped ears, large ears or earlobes, and traumatic injuries. Each of these deformities requires special attention to detail and precise techniques for the repair. 

If you or your child are concerned about the shape or size of their ears, make a consultation with Dr. Vinyard to find out about your options for cosmetic ear surgery. Children must be accompanied by their parents to all appointments.

Who Is A Candidate?

Ear reshaping surgery is most common among young children and is suggested before the start of elementary school. By age five or six, this surgery is safe to be performed on a child. It is unfortunate that children are often embarrassed by the shape and size of the ears because they stick out or are too large. Dr. Vinyard will consider taking on patients of this age on a case-by-case basis.

If you are an adult who has torn, stretched, or damaged earlobes, you are also a candidate for otoplasty. Split earlobe repairs are common among those who have pierced ears. Dr. Vinyard will perform a thorough examination with imaging for facial analysis.

What's the Technique?

Ear reshaping surgery is completed using anesthesia, either a local, general, or IV sedation. Depending upon the surgical approach required to correct your ears, your surgery can take as long as 1 – 3.5 hours to complete. Most often, the incision is made around the back portion of the ear or inside the inner folds. During surgery, cartilage will be manipulated to create a new contour and natural-looking appearance. It's generally common for both ears to be altered during otoplasty to ensure they look and appear symmetrical. After the procedure, the incisions are safely stitched together with sutures and wrapped so they are safeguarded for healing.

What can I Expect?

Once the procedure is finished and it is safe for you to leave, you will heal and rest at home. Dr. Vinyard or a member of his team will send you home with recovery instructions. It is important to not touch, pick at, or scratch the ears. Also, you or your child should avoid laying on the ears, instead it is necessary to sleep propped up for the first few days.

You will see immediate changes in the appearance of your ears after the surgical correction of prominent ears, cupped ears, split earlobes, and most ear reconstructions. Once the swelling is almost all gone, you will be very close to your final result. Natural-looking ears are visible almost immediately and the results will continue to look better as the ears heal. Bruising after ear surgery is usually minimal and should diminish in 10 – 14 days. The majority of the swelling after ear surgery is gone within two weeks. There are instances where the swelling last longer (up to 6 weeks). This is usually only perceived by you as you are studying your ears much more closely than others. We take your first official "after" photos at three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does ear surgery cost?
There are varied concerns that patients have regarding their ears. The cost of your procedure is dependent upon what Dr. Vinyard recommends during your consultation. You will be provided with a detailed written quote while you are here with us in the office. If your ears require reconstruction, it is possible that your insurance carrier will cover this procedure depending on your individual insurance policy. In order for you to focus on getting the results you need instead of costs, VIPS accepts many payment methods and we can help you find low-interest financing.

The cost of your ear surgery (otoplasty) covers Dr. Vinyard's professional, facility, and anesthesia fees (if applicable). This also includes office visits such as your initial consultation, pre-operative visits, and follow-up appointments for cosmetic procedures. If your surgery is covered by insurance, you will also be responsible for any co-pays that your insurance policy determines.

Do I have to go into the hospital?
The length, approach, and cost vary with each person’s anatomy and level of injury if trauma is involved. The correction of prominent ears and cupped ears are usually performed under general anesthesia. Traumatic injuries requiring repair can vary in severity and treatment approach. It could be as simple as a repair with sutures in the office using local anesthesia to a very involved ear reconstruction in the operating room requiring several stages and possibly cartilage from another part of the body. Traumatic injuries to the ears are usually covered by insurance.

Will the results of ear surgery last?
Normally, the ears mature faster than other parts of the face and body, which is why an otoplasty can be done on younger patients with long-lasting results. Dr. Vinyard will examine the ears and then talk about realistic expectations along with how long the results may last. Even as the face and body can change due to age and gravity, the effect on the ears is usually minimal. If there are dramatic changes to the ears due to an injury, a second otoplasty could be performed.

How old should my child be to consider otoplasty?
Typically, children about 5 – 6 years of age are ideal candidates for otoplasty. While the ear is usually fully developed, the cartilage and tissue will still be soft, making it easy to change. This age is also good as it is before they start school or early in their education, so they can avoid teasing from their classmates. Although many otoplasty patients are young children, Dr. Vinyard also performs ear surgery on adults.

Do I need to have both ears done or just one?
The most common problems, including ears that are oversized or stick out, occur in both ears, so both will need to be fixed. During the surgery, Dr. Vinyard will shape both ears so they are as equal as possible. However, if only one ear needs to be changed, the size and shape will be altered to match the other ear. When he develops your treatment plan, Dr. Vinyard will let you know whether or both ears will be addressed.

How long will it take to recover from my ear surgery (otoplasty)?
This depends upon which type of procedure that you have. A split earlobe repair will allow you to return to work the next day and resume all activities in about two weeks. A correction of prominent ears will require approximately 5 – 7 days before you return to work or school. Dr. Vinyard requires patients wear ear protectors (usually children) so that there is less of a chance of an injury to the newly repaired ear. Dr. Vinyard will be able to advise you on a case by case basis of your anticipated recovery time.

What about fixing stretched or torn earlobes?
The popularity of ear gauges and big earrings have made earlobe repair a popular surgery at VIPS. If you are interested in having earlobe reconstruction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vinyard. He will examine the damage and explain what might be done to restore your earlobes.

Can I have an earlobe reduction?
As we age the effects of gravity combined with genetics can leave someone with large earlobes requiring reduction. This is considered a cosmetic correction and therefore not covered by insurance. An earlobe reduction can be done in the office under some circumstances with a local anesthesia. Should your earlobe reduction require a more complicated correction or when combined with another procedure, it will be necessary to treat this in the operating room under general anesthesia.

Reshape Your Ears at VIPS

While the ears are small, an unusual shape, position, or size can make a significant difference in one's appearance. Otoplasty can help your child avoid teasing at school, or help you if you have always felt unhappy with your ears. Contact VIPS in Port Saint Lucie, FL to schedule your appointment with cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Vinyard and learn more about ear reshaping surgery. We look forward to helping you gain a look you can be proud of and exude confidence.

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Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time  
1 Week
Average Procedure Time  
1/2 – 1 Hour
Post-op Follow-up  
1 – 3 Days
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.