• Procedure Time: 1 hour
  • Recovery Time: 1 week
  • Surgery Type: Outpatient

What is an Otoplasty ?

An otoplasty, commonly referred to as “ear pinning,” is a procedure that aims to reshape the ears. The most common reason why people seek out otoplasty is due to protruding ears. In these cases, otoplasty is the procedure to correct this, allowing the ears to sit closer to the scalp. An otoplasty can also be performed to reduce the size of the ear or to rejuvenate the ear lobes. It is a quick and very safe procedure that leaves a patient with lasting results. An otoplasty does not affect hearing. If there is concern for hearing at the time of consultation, Dr. Gadaleta will often refer the patient for audiology testing.

How is it Performed?

Otoplasty is performed in a way that corrects the anatomical issue at hand. For some individuals, protruding ear is caused by excessive cartilage, for others, it can be due to a lack of anti-helical folds. Some patients will even have a combination of both issues. After a complete facial analysis, with a focus on the size, shape and position of the external ear, Dr. Gadaleta will determine which areas require surgical correction. The otoplasty involves making a small incision along the crease behind the ear so that there is no visible scar. A predetermined amount of skin and/or cartilage will be removed and then permanent sutures will be placed to bring the ear closer to the scalp. Once the ear position is corrected, Dr. Gadaleta closes the skin meticulously using dissolving sutures. The entire procedure takes about an hour and can be done comfortably without general anesthesia. The surgery is out-patient, meaning the patients go home the same day as the procedure.

Who is a good candidate?

You may be a good candidate for otoplasty surgery if you have noticed an increased distance between your ears and scalp. You may also be a good candidate if you are bothered by the size, shape, or length of your earlobes. Dr. Gadaleta operates on children beginning at age 6 so that the ear has reached maturity from its growth phase.


Patients tend to recover from otoplasty very quickly, with most patients returning to school or work within 3-7 days. A head dressing is required to be worn for the first week after surgery. This helps with both swelling and keeping the ears in an ideal position as they heal. Many patients feel uncomfortable the first few days following surgery; however, severe pain is uncommon. The ears may remain tender to touch for a few weeks after surgery. The sutures behind the ear are dissolvable and typically disappear by 7-14 days. At 4-6 weeks, patients can resume all physical activities. The final result sets in around 2-3 months and lasts a lifetime.

Otoplasty Before & After Photos

Schedule a Otoplasty Consultation

Reach out today to schedule a Otoplasty consultation in Palo Alto, San Mateo or Menlo Park with Dr. Dominick Gadaleta. As a board-certified San Mateo facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Gadaleta’s practice focuses exclusively on surgery of the face and neck. Please contact us using the form below, or call the office most convenient to you.

Contact Us