Ear Pinning Surgery: Is There an Ideal Age for Otoplasty? By dsherris on May 31, 2024

Grandaughter whispering something into her grandmother’s ear

If someone was born with large or prominent ears, a doctor could recommend otoplasty (ear pinning) to improve overall appearance. Ear pinning surgery can also have positive effects on self-esteem and self-image, which is why it’s recommended for children who are subject to bullying or teasing.

But is there a minimum and maximum age for ear pinning surgery?

The team at our Buffalo, NY, plastic surgery center would like to look at this very topic. Read on to learn if otoplasty can help children as well as adults well into their golden years.

General Rule When It Comes to Otoplasty Patient Age

Otoplasty can be safey performed as soon as a patient’s ears have reached their full size. This usually happens in childhood.

What’s the Youngest a Person Can Get Their Ears Pinned?

Generally speaking, the youngest a person can undergo ear pinning is about 5 years old.

Again, this is only recommended when a child’s ears have reached their full size, so some children will need to wait to undergo surgery.

What Are the Most Common Ages People Get Ear Pinning Surgery?

Many surgeons err on the side of caution when performing ear pinning just to ensure the ears are at their full size. With that in mind, many ear pinning procedures are performed on patients ages 6-14.

Performing surgery at age 6 or 7 helps ensure a patient’s ears have reached their full size naturally while still helping a young patient avoid name-calling and bullying.

Waiting until adolesence to perform surgery gives time for a patient to mature more. Getting a little older could reduce the prominence of the ears relative to a person’s other facial features.

The Benefits of Ear Pinning on Young Patients

Getting ear pinning surgery at an earlier age helps young patients avoid teasing and self-consciousness during an important part of their childhood and early development. This can do wonders for a child’s confidence.

Many parents push for otoplasty at an early age to help their child feel comfortable in their own skin while they’re at school and interacting with classmates.

Can I Be Too Old for Ear Pinning Surgery?

Technically no. We have helped adult patients at our Buffalo plastic surgery center by performing procedures on their ears.

That said, ear pinning is more common among young adults and adults approaching middle age than elderly patients.

Ear Pinning Can Have Benefits for Adult Patients

Ear pinning can have a number of benefits for adults who never got the surgery when they were younger. Changing the size and prominence of the ears can similarly improve self-esteem and self-image, giving adults a much needed boost in confidence.

Ear pinning could give an adult patient an additional edge in their social lives and in their careers, particularly if a person has a job that requires a lot of in-person networking or interactions that involves client-facing work.

Discuss Ear Pinning With Our Team

Whether you’re a parent concerned about your child’s sense of self or an adult who’s been thinking about ear pinning for some time, we encourage you to contact our plastic surgery center in Buffalo, NY. During a consultation, you can get all the answers you need about the procedure.

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Dr. David A. Sherris

The Clinic of Facial Plastic Surgery

Dr. David A. Sherris is highly qualified to perform your surgery, with distinguishing achievements such as: 

  • Double board-certification in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as otolaryngology
  • Regular invitations to travel around the world to teach other surgeons 
  • Annually voted as one of the "Best Doctors of America"
  • Thousands of patients around the globe, including other doctors

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sherris and discuss your options for plastic surgery, contact our practice in Buffalo, NY, online or call us at (716) 884-5102.

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