Otoplasty Melbourne – Ear Pinning Surgery

Dr Stephen Kleid is a highly skilled and board-certified ENT surgeon. He has extensive experience in ENT surgery, specializing in cosmetic procedures of the ear, nose, and throat, he also performs reconstructive surgeries. With his expertise in otoplasty, he offers surgical solutions to address various concerns related to the appearance of the ears.

Although the ears may seem relatively inconspicuous, they play a significant role in facial aesthetics. Ears that protrude outward or are disproportionately large can impact overall facial harmony. Additionally, congenital defects or injuries may also contribute to ear-related concerns. In such cases, otoplasty, commonly referred to as ear surgery, can be performed to enhance the appearance of the ears.

Otoplasty procedures can vary depending on the specific issues to be addressed. For individuals with protruding or outward-pointing ears, an ear pinning otoplasty procedure may be recommended. This surgical technique involves repositioning and reshaping the ears to create a more balanced and natural-looking result.

Dr Stephen Kleid’s expertise in otoplasty allows him to tailor the procedure to each patient’s unique needs and aesthetic goals, whether it’s correcting ear protrusion, resizing overly large ears, or addressing ear defects.

If you are considering otoplasty to change the appearance of your ears, Dr Stephen Kleid is experienced, qualified, and commitment to delivering the best results he can. Schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and explore the options available to achieve your desired ear aesthetics.

What is an Otoplasty Procedure?

An Otoplasty is a complicated cosmetic surgery that focuses on changing the appearance of the ears. Surgeons perform this procedure to address structural abnormalities and modify the shape, size, and positioning of the ears.

During an Otoplasty procedure, the surgeon employs various techniques to achieve the desired outcome. There are three main types of otoplasty procedures;

  • Ear reduction surgery:
    • This procedure is intended to decrease the size of the ears, particularly if they are overly large or disproportionate to the rest of the facial features.
  • Ear pinning surgery:
    • Also known as ear setback surgery.
    • This technique is commonly used to address protruding ears.
    • Repositioning the ears closer to the head, can create a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Ear augmentation surgery:
    • In some cases, individuals may desire an increase in the size or shape of their ears.
    • Ear augmentation surgery involves techniques such as earlobe reconstruction or the use of implants to enhance the ear’s appearance.

During an Otoplasty procedure, both ears are typically operated on simultaneously to ensure symmetry and harmony. The primary objective of Otoplasty is to improve the external appearance of the ears and address any physical abnormalities present. Whether it’s enhancing facial balance, correcting deformities, or addressing traumatic injuries, Otoplasty surgery offers a solution for individuals seeking aesthetic improvement and functional restoration.

Ideal Candidates for Otoplasty-Ear Pinning Procedure

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An Otoplasty procedure may seem like an easy procedure to fix the appearance of the ear, but it is much more than that and requires a specialist surgeon. It also requires you to meet eligibility criteria before undergoing the procedure to ensure that you are healthy and can tolerate the results of the procedure. 

The ideal candidate for the ear pinning otoplasty surgery is:

  • Over the age of, (which is when our ears almost reach the adult size)
  • Suffering from outward, pointy, or protruding ears
  • Wishing to undergo a revision otoplasty to review overcorrection or other complications of a previous Otoplasty procedure
  • Is both physically and mentally healthy
  • Aware of what the procedure can and can not achieve.
  • Knows the risks and complications of the procedure
  • Is a non-smoker or willing to quit six weeks in advance.
    • Smoking impairs blood flow and after a surgical procedure, reduced blood flow can result in poor wound healing.


During the consultation period, you and your surgeon will discuss your reasons for wanting to undergo the surgery and you will discuss surgery options for you. It’s also important you are honest about your expectations from the surgery.

It’s important you use the consultation period to better understand the procedure and all the potential risks and complications. This enables you to make an informed decision. This is also when you and your surgeon will discuss whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria in order to proceed with your surgical journey.

Please note that as of the 1st July 2023 all patients will need a referral from a GP or specialist before they are able to book a consult.


The surgery for otoplasty, specifically ear pinning surgery, can take anywhere between one to three hours, depending on the extent of pinning required. Although some surgeons use local anesthesia to perform the procedure, Dr Kleid predominantly uses General anesthesia.  

The procedure begins with the surgeon making incisions in the back of the ear. Then they will remove cartilage and skin from that area. This reduces the size of the ears. After this, your surgeon will pin the ear back by using permanent sutures to close the incisions. This is the end of the surgical phase of your journey.  

Recovery from the Otoplasty Procedure

The recovery from the otoplasty procedure, (regardless of the subtype), takes around 4 weeks to 6 weeks in total. Many patients will get the all clear from their surgeon to resume daily life and activities before the recovery period ends. However, its important to not put pressure on the incisions while going about your day. The slightest pressure can result in swelling, bruising, and pain that might alter the results of the procedure. 

For any discomfort or pain that may be present during the first week of the recovery period, you can either ask your surgeon to prescribe pain management medications for you or you can use OTC (over the counter) painkillers. Your surgeon will likely recommend you wear a headband throughout the recovery period to support your ears new position as you recovery.

During the recovery period, you should refrain from smoking and drinking. Refraining from drinking is especially important if your surgeon prescribes you antibiotics for your recovery period. Furthermore, we suggest you also try to sleep on your back, so as to not put any pressure on the incisions while you sleep.

Risks and Complications of the Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty procedures and all of their sub-types are complex and major surgical procedures. They are associated with quite an large list of risks and complications. You are also more likely to suffer from side effects of the procedure if you do not strictly adhere to your surgeons instructions during the recovery period. 

The major side effects of an Otoplasty procedure, include:

  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Bleeding 
  • Significant, thick scarring
  • Asymmetry of the ears
  • Transient numbness of the skin
  • Swelling due to the stitches moving to the surface of the skin
  • Overcorrection; this requires a revision Otoplasty as it makes the ears look overtly pinned back.

Why Choose Dr Stephen Kleid?

Dr Stephen Kleid is an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon with board certification and decades of experience under his belt. He specializes in plastic and cosmetic surgery of the ear, nose, and throat while also performing reconstructive surgeries for those with head and neck cancers. Dr Kleid is highly trained and a member of the different academies and societies, relating to the field of surgery and plastic surgery. Dr Kleid has worked and trained in different countries, focusing on improving his technique to allow his patients to benefit from both cosmetic and functional benefits. He prioritizes his patients’ safety and satisfaction to ensure they get the results they want in the healthiest and safest way possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Otoplasty a major surgery?

Even though an Otoplasty procedure is a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to alter the appearance of the ears, it is still a major surgical procedure. It requires at least four to six weeks of the recovery period. 

Is Otoplasty surgery painful?

During an otoplasty procedure, anesthesia is used to ensure that you are comfortable and free from pain during the surgery.

After the surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and tenderness in the ears. This is a natural part of the healing process and can vary from person to person. Your surgeon will provide you with appropriate pain management instructions, which may include the use of pain medication, to help alleviate any discomfort during the recovery period.

It is important to note that individual pain tolerance can vary, and what one person perceives as mild discomfort, another person may experience as more significant. However, most patients find that the pain and discomfort associated with Otoplasty are manageable and diminish over time.

How long does it take to recover from Otoplasty?

The recovery period from otoplasty is around four weeks to six weeks long.

The general timeline of Otoplasty recovery process is as follows:

  • First few days:
    • Immediately after the surgery, you will be required to wear a protective dressing or bandage around the ears. This dressing helps to minimize swelling and maintain the new shape of the ears.
    • It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for keeping the dressing clean and dry.
  • First week:
    • During this period, you will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to monitor your healing progress.
    • The initial swelling and bruising will start to subside, but some residual swelling may still be present.
    • You may be advised to wear a headband or special ear protection at night to protect the ears during sleep.
  • First few weeks:
    • By the end of the second week, most of the visible swelling and bruising should have resolved.
    • You can typically return to normal daily activities, but it is important to avoid strenuous activities or contact sports that could potentially impact the ears.
  • Subsequent months:
    • Over the following months, the remaining swelling will gradually diminish, and the final results of the otoplasty will become more apparent.

It is essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care, including any recommended follow-up appointments.

Does an Otoplasty last forever?

Yes, generally the results of otoplasty are generally considered permanent. Otoplasty is designed to reshape and reposition the ears, addressing any structural abnormalities or aesthetic concerns. Once the desired changes are made during surgery, they are intended to last for a long time.

However, it’s important to note that as with any surgical procedure, the aging process will continue, and some natural changes may occur over time. While the overall appearance and position of the ears should remain stable, factors such as gravity, skin laxity, and the effects of aging can affect the appearance of the ears to a certain extent.

How do they pin back ears?

Ear pinning surgery is a type of otoplasty procedure. During an otoplasty procedure, the surgeon reshapes the cartilage and positions the ears closer to the head to achieve a more natural and balanced appearance.

The specific techniques and approaches used during ear pinning surgery may vary depending on the individual’s unique anatomy and the surgeon’s preferred methods. It’s essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to discuss the details of the procedure and determine the most suitable approach for your specific needs.

How do you sleep after Otoplasty?

After otoplasty surgery, it is important to take special care when sleeping to protect and support the newly reshaped ears. Some general guidelines on how to sleep after Otoplasty, includes:

  • Sleep in an elevated position:
    • Keeping your head elevated while sleeping can help reduce swelling and promote better healing.
    • Prop yourself up with extra pillows or consider using a wedge pillow to elevate your head and upper body.
  • Avoid sleeping on your side or directly on your ears:
    • Sleeping directly on the ears can put pressure on them and potentially disrupt the healing process. Instead, try to sleep on your back to minimize contact with the ears.
  • Use a protective headband or dressing:
    • Your surgeon may provide you with a special headband or dressing to wear during sleep.
    • This helps to provide support and protect the ears while they heal.
    • Follow your surgeon’s instructions on when and how to wear the headband or dressing.
  • Be cautious with pillows and bedding:
    • Choose soft pillows and bedding that do not exert excessive pressure on the ears.
  • Be mindful of movements during sleep:
    • If you tend to shift positions frequently while sleeping, consider using a travel neck pillow or other support to help maintain a consistent position.

When can I shower after Otoplasty?

The timing for showering after otoplasty can vary depending on your surgeon’s specific instructions and your individual healing progress. Generally, you can expect to be able to shower a few days after the surgery. However, it is important to follow your surgeon’s guidelines to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Further Medical Reading

Why Choose Dr Kleid for Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery?

Dr Stephen Kleid
Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon (Otolaryngologist)

Masada Medical Centre
26 Balaclava Road,
East St Kilda, Victoria

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in St Kilda.

Dr Kleid’s Procedures

How can we help?

Dr Kleid’s Team takes pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering ENT surgery. Please call the Masada in Melbourne between 9 am – 5 pm on Weekdays.

Phone Masada Hospital 03 9038 1630 or Email Dr Kleid


The information presented in this article is provided solely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical condition or concerns you may have. Do not disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice based on the information provided in this article. The author and publisher of this article do not warrant the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content, and any reliance on the information presented is at your own discretion and risk.