What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is a surgical procedure to reposition prominent ears permanently. It is performed by repositioning and sometimes removing a portion of cartilage behind the ears. The incisions are hidden behind the ears to minimize visible scarring.

Young male treated with otoplasty

Young man treated with otoplasty
Source: Dr. Moubayed’s practice. Photos published with informed written consent of the patient. Not a guarantee of results. Educational purposes only.

What types of otoplasty do you perform?

The prominent ear deformity can be located at the level of the superior third or the middle third of the ears.

To correct the superior third, Dr. Moubayed uses the Mustardé technique that consists in weakening and suturing the superior third cartilage using permanent sutures to recreate the natural curve of the ear called the antihelix.

To correct the deformity of the middle portion of the ear, Dr. Moubayed uses the Davis technique that consists in removing a portion of soft tissue and cartilage behind the ear, and the suturing the ear in a position closer to the hear to reduce the prominence of the conchal bowl.

Ideal ear position from skull

Ideal ear position
Source: Moubayed et al., Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Concepts, Questions, Answers, 1st ed.

At what age do we perform otoplasty?

The minimal age for otoplasty is 5 years of age to ensure complete development of the ear. In children, it is often practiced before children start school to decrease social teasing.

Ideal ear position

Ideal ear position
Source: Moubayed et al., Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Concepts, Questions, Answers, 1st ed.

What are the potential benefits of otoplasty?

The main benefit of otoplasty is a permanent correct of prominent ears. A priority for Dr. Moubayed is to maintain a natural and non-operated appearance of the ears.

What are the risks of an otoplasty?

Like any surgery, an otoplasty presents the universal (but minimal) risks of scarring, bleeding (and bruising), infection (superficial or deep), and pain (temporary or permanent).

However, the main risk of any cosmetic surgery is to not be satisfied with the result. After a proper consultation that includes a complete examination and photo evaluation, Dr. Moubayed can generally produce the results desired by the patient. However, we do not control the healing of tissues, and some patients heal in an unpredictable way producing asymmetries or irregularities that can sometimes require touch-ups.

Perfect symmetry does not exist and patients often have asymmetries before surgery that, even when corrected, do not heal in a perfectly symmetric way. This is usually not very problematic as both ears are seldom looked at simultaneously.

Finally, any otoplasty carries the risk of recurrence due to early or delayed failure of a suture. This can require revisions.

Dr. Moubayed is a surgeon that is exclusively trained in facial and ear surgery. He has a conservative and individualized approach with each patient. All patients are followed closely after surgery with very precise and very clear instructions. All of this is done in order to minimize the risks listed above.

What happens during an otoplasty consultation?

A consultation starts with a complete questionnaire and physical examination. Photos are taken and analyzed with your surgeon. This is an essential communication tool as some patients want changes that are not always possible in surgery.

Then, we talk about surgery and recovery, and Dr. Moubayed answers any and all questions you may have.

Multiple consultations are sometimes necessary before deciding to proceed with surgery. Cosmetic facial surgery is an important decision to make and it is important that you are well informed before proceeding with it.

How to prepare for your otoplasty consultation?

It is a good idea to prepare yourself for your consultation and this is easily done.

First, prepare to list in order of importance the elements you would like to improve in your ears (upper or middle third, asymmetries).

Then, if you have had prior surgery to your ears, try to bring with you the operative report of your prior procedures if this is possible.

How long does it take to perform otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a surgery of finesse and precision. It usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours to correct both ears.

Otoplasty Mustardé sutures
Source: Moubayed et al., Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Concepts, Questions, Answers, 1st ed.

What type of anesthesia is used for otoplasty?

Otoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of surgery and the patient’s wishes.

For general anesthesia, the type of anesthesia used is total intravenous anesthesia (without using anesthetic gases). This type of anesthesia is safe and helps reduce nausea and coughing after surgery. Our patients often report how positive their anesthesia experience was.

Otoplasty conchal setback

Otoplasty conchal setback
Source: Moubayed et al., Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Concepts, Questions, Answers, 1st ed.

How long is recovery from otoplasty surgery?

Patients leave the surgical center the same day with a dressing and recover at home with very precise instructions. Your first post-operative appointment will take place 3 to 7 days later, where the dressing will be removed and your wound will be examined. At that point you can return to your regular activities. Stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be removed.

We recommend wearing a headband all day and all night for the first week, and then at night for the first three weeks.

Light physical activity can be resumed after a week, but for more vigorous activities like weightlifting or contact sports, it is recommended to wait three weeks to minimize bleeding risk.

How long does swelling last after otoplasty?

After a week, you will very presentable in society. The majority of swelling decreases over the first three months, but minimal (barely visible) swelling can persist for up to a year.

How do I find the best surgeon for otoplasty in Montreal?

It is important to look at multiple factors during your otoplasty surgeon choice:

1- Does your surgeon have specific expertise in facial and ear surgery and anatomy to be able to minimize complications?

2- Is your surgeon comfortable correcting all types of ear deformities?

3- Did you have a positive experience and feel comfortable during your consultation?

Do you have before and after pictures of otoplasty?

See our photo gallery for photos. Some examples here:

How do I contact Dr. Moubayed for a consultation?

  • Drop files here or