At what age should I consider having my ears pinned back?

Having ears that protrude more than other people’s can affect confidence of men and women. To some degree, women can mask the problem with sympathetic hair styling, but men are often not so lucky. If your ears have been causing you distress and emotional discomfort then it could be time to consider a simple cosmetic procedure.

Mr Ghosh is an experienced cosmetic surgeon who has been looking after the emotional and psychological wellbeing of his patients for many years. He understands how tricky it can be living with something that affects your confidence, and protruding ears can be just that. He can offer a solution to this called ear correction surgery, or something officially known as an otoplasty or pinnaplasty.

Different ear pinning techniques

This can be done at any age, but the two approaches are typically as follows:

For very young babies, under six months old, a process called ‘ear splinting’ is undertaken. This is where the soft, young cartilage is re-set and then a split is used to hold the ear until it ‘sets’ in its new position. It is recommended that this process is done as early as possible, ideally in the first three months of the child’s life, so if you believe your baby’s ears are unnaturally protruding; consult an expert to get the ball rolling quickly.

For the junior or adult population, the more common otoplasty or pinnaplasty procedures would be carried out. This is where a small incision is made behind the ears, and then they are pinned back during a process whereby the cartilage is remodelled. In young people, may opt for this type of operation between the ages of five and fourteen, usually at the request of parents who are concerned about playground bullying. For adults, the decision varies depending on personal circumstances.

Is there an perfect age for an otoplasty?

There is no ‘optimum age’ for otoplasty or pinnaplasty procedures, it relates entirely to when the individual feels ready to take the step to correct their protruding ears. Ears are one of the first parts of the body to reach adult size, so some adolescents prefer to wait until they are older, so they can ascertain whether or not the procedure is really critical to their appearance and their self confidence. For others, the decision to wait may be financially driven. Once you have decided that this type of operation is right for you, book an appointment to speak to a surgeon, who will be able to assess your suitability and begin the process.

Whether ear reshaping techniques are carried out as a very young baby, an adolescent or an adult, these procedures are typically very safe and carry a low level of risk to the patient.