Otoplasty is a fantastic option for anyone dissatisfied with their ears’ appearance. It can effectively and permanently correct shape, or decrease projection. Tri Valley Plastic Surgery offers otoplasty from an elite team of highly respected medical professionals.

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Ear Procedures

Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is designed to reshape ear structures, improve your natural appearance and improve symmetry.

Options for the ears:

  • Ear lobe repair
  • Ear lobe reduction
  • Otoplasty (ear pinning)

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Resounding Results

Ear prominence roughly affects 1 in 20 people. While this condition does not generally impact function, it can be a nuisance and source of insecurity for many who live with it.

Many find themselves covering their ears with long hair, or wearing a hat to essentially hold the tops of their ears in toward their head. Ears that protrude too far as well as ear deformities or asymmetry can detract from facial features. Dr. Steven Williams is a board-certified Oakland plastic surgeon offering otoplasty for those who are ready to move on from the frustrations of ear irregularities.

Earlobe Repair

Earlobe repair is a simple procedure that corrects damage to the earlobe caused by a torn or stretched piercing, or other trauma. This procedure involves the removal of stretched skin and the stitching together of remaining tissue to restore the earlobe. Earlobe repair requires only local anesthesia and generally takes between 30 minutes and 3 hours to perform. The earlobe will be sensitive following surgery, but patients can return to their regular activities immediately. Results are visible immediately, and patients can expect to be fully healed within 1 to 3 weeks of their earlobe repair surgery.

Earlobe Reduction

Factors including aging, genetics, and additional weight on the earlobes due to jewelry can cause the earlobes to droop or expand over time. Earlobe reduction surgery is a straightforward procedure with an easy recovery.

Before an incision is made, the area of the earlobe to be removed will be marked. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the excess tissue will be removed and the wound will be closed. Like earlobe repair, earlobe reduction is performed under local anesthesia, requires no downtime, and has a healing period of 1 to 3 weeks.

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For our patients in Oakland otoplasty is a permanent and effective procedure used to reduce the ears’ protrusion from the head.

On average, there are roughly 2 centimeters between the ears and the side of the head. When that distance is greater, the position of the ears can be a source of bother or self-consciousness. The procedure involves an incision made behind the ear, which is stitched to permanently hold the ear close to the head. Occasionally, some cartilage may also be removed. Otoplasty requires general anesthesia. A dressing is applied to the ear and kept on for several days.

Patients can expect soreness for several days following surgery, as well as bruising which may last as long as 2 weeks. Numbness and tingling may be present for several weeks but should subside. While patients may resume regular activities as they are able, contact sports and swimming will need to be avoided for several weeks. A protective headband may be recommended once the dressing is removed to prevent the ear from being pulled forward during sleep. Dr. Williams and his team at Tri Valley Plastic Surgery closely monitor patient recovery and will provide detailed instructions, as well as information regarding when it is safe to return to specific activities.

Combining Procedures

Earlobe repair, earlobe reduction, and otoplasty may all be performed in any combination, or combined with a separate procedure. Ear procedures are commonly performed in combination with procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, or neck lift. Dr. Williams can help you develop your perfect treatment plan to achieve an overall look that you will love.


What to Expect from Tri Valley Plastic Surgery

Ear Procedures

Length of Surgery
Inpatient / Outpatient
Duration of Results

1-2 Hours
Usually General

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Tri Valley Plastic Surgery Ear Procedures

Dr. Steven Williams is a board-certified plastic surgeon and leading provider of Oakland otoplasty, and other ear procedures. Dr. Williams and the team at Tri Valley Plastic Surgery are widely known for producing the highest level of patient care as well as surgical and nonsurgical results in Northern California. If you would like to learn more about otoplasty Oakland plastic surgeons Dr. Williams invites you to contact Tri Valley Plastic Surgery during regular business hours to schedule your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I candidate for Otoplasty (ear pinning) surgery?

What are the face lift surgery recovery and healing steps?

How do I prepare for Otoplasty (ear) surgery?

What is an Otoplasty procedure?

What are the Otoplasty surgery procedure steps?

What are the Otoplasty (ear pinning) side effects and surgery risks?

What is the best age for Otoplasty surgery?

Can ears go back after Otoplasty?

Am I candidate for Otoplasty (ear pinning) surgery?

The goal of an otoplasty is to improve shape and symmetry of the ears. It is designed to correct ears that stick out too much or are too large or too small or malpositioned. An Otoplasty can make a significant difference in a persons appearance and as with any procedure, is a highly individual decision. You may be a suitable candidate for an Otoplasty procedure if you are unhappy with how your ears look. If you are concerned with any of the following, you may benefit from an otoplasty:

  • Ears stick out too much
  • Ears are asymmetric
  • Earlobes have torn piercings.
  • Earlobes are saggy

Certain factors affect whether you are a suitable candidate for an otoplasty procedure:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you physically and emotionally healthy?
  • Do you have realistic expectations of what otoplasty surgery could do for you?

What are the face lift surgery recovery and healing steps?

The swelling will be at its worst two to three days after Face Lift surgery. Sleeping upright supported by pillows will help in reducing swelling. Cool compresses can also help, however great care should be taken to not put ice or anything too cold directly on your skin as you will still have some numbness and may not feel things that are too cold. Patients of Face Lift surgery are recommended to rest as much as possible the first week, keep your incision sites as dry as possible, and avoid closed-neck clothing to prevent contact on your head and face.

Some numbness, swelling, and bruising of the skin is likely to last for up to two weeks after the surgery. After five to ten days, your stitches and drains will be removed, and a few days later you should start seeing the results of the face lift. Five to fourteen days after the face lift procedure, you will start to look and feel better. Visible swelling should go down after four to six weeks. You should avoid any strenuous activity during this time. You will probably feel numbness in your face for a few weeks. Dr. Williams and the Tri Valley Plastic Surgery team will give you a check list and a precautions list for your recovery. It may take several months for swelling to fully dissipate and up to six months to a year for incision lines to mature. Maintaining or adopting a healthy lifestyle and wearing a high SPF sunscreen whenever you go out will help to extend the results of your face lift. You will see the end result of your Face Lift approximately six to nine months after your Face Lift operation.

How do I prepare for Otoplasty (ear) surgery?

The Tri Valley Plastic Surgery team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your otoplasty (ear) procedure, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. If you smoke, you will be asked to stop at least two months before otoplasty, as smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin. Patients who smoke take longer to heal and can have serious wound healing complications. Patients usually must also avoid taking painkillers containing aspirin or ibuprofen two weeks before surgery.

What is an Otoplasty procedure?

An otoplasty (or ear pinning or ear surgery), changes the skin or cartilage to reshape one or both ears. Ears may have undesirable shape since birth or from trauma. Dr. Williams and the Tri Valley Plastic Surgery team specialize in creating a natural looking ears that have good symmetry.

What are the Otoplasty surgery procedure steps?

An otoplasty operation takes one to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia, although intravenous sedation can be used in some situations. The Tri Valley Plastic Surgery team will discuss the options with you and recommend the best anesthesia for you. Ear surgery procedure is always tailored to your specific needs and anatomy.

  • IV medication is used to induce general anesthesia. In addition, local numbing medication is always injected to give you post-operative pain control.
  • There are multiple incision techniques that the surgeons at Tri Valley Plastic Surgery may use when you have an otoplasty. These depend on the degree of change you’d like to see and the problem areas. We always strive for the smallest possible scar to give you the look you want.
  • Absorbable and non-absorbable sutures are used on the incisions that are typically behind the ears. These incisions are usually very well hidden. Once the surgery is complete, dressings are placed.
  • When you wake up after your otoplasty you will have dressings and bandages covering your ears. You will be given painkillers, although you should only feel mild to moderate pain after an otoplasty procedure. There will swelling over your ears, which will subside after a short time.

What are the Otoplasty (ear pinning) side effects and surgery risks?

Otoplasty complications are infrequent and usually minor. Otoplasty procedures are commonly performed and generally safe. The possibility of risks and complications depend on each patient's anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities. As with any surgery, the outcome is never completely predictable.

  • Common Otoplasty side effects include:
  • Soreness, swelling and bruising which can last up to a month
  • Scarring which usually fades over the course of a year, but won't completely disappear
  • Asymmetry between ears - everyone has some asymmetry - your asymmetry should improve but it is impossible to achieve complete symmetry.

Complications that may arise as a result of an otoplasty operation are:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Facial nerve injury with weakness.
  • Asymmetry
  • Skin loss
  • Numbness
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Pain which may persist
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Skin discoloration, sensitivity or swelling
  • Unsatisfactory surgical scar location
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

What is the best age for Otoplasty surgery?

Otoplasty is performed on children and adults. However, it is advised that otoplasty is not performed on children until after the ear is fully formed (around age 5).

Can ears go back after Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is permanent. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that the ears return to their original position following otoplasty. While it is possible, such an event may be avoided through the strict adherence to instructions given by our providers regarding prolonged care of otoplasty results.

We are leaders in breast enhancement, body sculpting, and facial cosmetic surgery, serving the entire San Francisco Bay area. Whether you live in the Bay Area or are coming in from out of town, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have on your path to your new self. Schedule an intro call with us today to take the first step towards realizing the look you’ve always wanted for yourself.

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