Ear Pinning Solutions

Dumbo ears. Bat ears. These are some of the more ridiculous descriptions of protruding ears. Fortunately, otoplasty surgery can correct protruding ears.

Ear Pinning Solutions

The Skinny


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported over 30,000 otoplasty procedures (a.k.a. ear surgery) were performed in 2018. Protruding ears, also called dumbo ears or bat ears, can be a source of self-esteem issues, including low self-confidence and decreased quality of life. Common causes of prominent ears protruding far from the side of the head include excess ear cartilage or underdeveloped antihelical folds (check out our complete guide to Ear Shape Concerns). Surgical correction can restore self-confidence and improve self-esteem.

The Specifics


Who may consider an ear pinning procedure?

For individuals with disproportionate ear size and excessive ear protrusion, an ear pinning procedure can alter the appearance of ear size and reposition the ear in relation to the head. Enhancements to ear aesthetic can improve overall appearance increasing self-confidence and reducing self-consciousness.

The Anatomy of the Ear Ear Anatomy Close Up Photo

What can you expect from ear pinning procedures?

There are three different ear pinning procedures with varying levels of invasiveness. All procedures provide permanent results. For adults, an ear surgery to remove excess ear cartilage and reposition the ear can be performed or a less invasive permanent implant can be placed. For older children and teens, a suture (stitches) only procedure can be used for more subtle repositioning. All procedures produce permanent results with mild side effects and a few weeks of recovery time.

When should you consider an ear pinning procedure?

The ideal candidate is in generally good health and has the ability to commit to the needed recovery time after the procedure. For children and teens considering the procedure, considerations should be made with parents for the psychosocial impact of pursuing an operation.

Why should you consider an ear pinning procedure?

Ear pinning procedures are cosmetic, and, therefore, should be considered by any individual who is dissatisfied with or self conscious of their appearance due to ear protrusion. Procedures are safe, effective, and provide permanent results.

Professional Ear Pinning Procedures

Ear pinning procedures allow for repositioning of the ears relative to the skull changing both the angle and appearance of size. Depending on the severity of the existing condition, multiple procedures with varying levels of invasiveness are available to reposition the ear.

The Takeaway


No matter what you call them (prominent ears, protruding ears, dumbo ears, bat ears), the aesthetic of the ears can be a source of psychological distress for both adults and children. For most individuals, the underlying cause is correlated to genetics. Fortunately, there are numerous otoplasty surgeries for both older children and adults to correct ear position and size.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report plasticsurgery.org; 2019-01-01
  2. Alexander Berghaus Protruding ears - cosmetic surgery with a sense of proportion PubMed.gov; 2016-09-01
  3. Better Health Channel Otoplasty (external ear surgery)

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