Life after a pinnaplasty

Written by: Mr Mike O`Connell
Edited by: Lisa Heffernan

A pinnaplasty (also known as otoplasty) is a straightforward operation to reset the outer ear or "pinna" to a more favourable position, closer to the side of the head, to make the ear appear less noticeable. This can have definite advantages in that less attention is drawn to the person. They can feel comfortable with their hair worn up and a swimming hat or helmet can be worn easily and comfortably.

Mr Mike O’Connell tells us more about the pinnaplasty procedure and what to expect after it.

How is the operation carried out?

The operation can be performed under local or general anaesthesia and requires no more than a day in hospital. The ears are repositioned using permanent stitches, discreetly placed under the skin. These are not noticeable and do not need to be removed.

A head bandage is applied during the surgery to keep the ears in position for the first week after surgery and after removal, a head bandage is advised for nighttime wear for up to one month. Skin stitches are completely dissolvable.


After the pinnaplasty

The ears are uncomfortable for a short period after the pinnaplasty, but this is easily managed with basic pain relief. The patients’ normal daily routine can resume after seven to ten days, but serious exercise and swimming need to be avoided for at least a month after the operation. Dr Mike O’Connell reviews all of his patients one week after surgery and eight weeks after surgery and in between if needed.


Can I still have my ears pierced after a pinnaplasty?

Yes, ear piercing can be undertaken after pinnaplasty surgery, but Mr Mike O’ Connell usually asks the patient to wait for 4-6 weeks for the ear to recover before having the ear pierced.


How much does a pinnaplasty cost?

A pinnaplasty costs anything from £3700 which includes hospital, general anaesthetic charges and surgical fees. The price is reduced accordingly for local anaesthesia operations. Prices vary for each hospital, but a quote can be provided on request. This includes medical images and follow up care.

Ear reshaping or a pinnaplasty is a personal decision. If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your ears or they get in the way, then a pinnaplasty can effectively resolve these concerns. Results are good from pinnaplasty surgery and patient satisfaction is high.


For more information, or if you would like to consult with Mr Mike O’Connell, please visit his Top Doctors profile.

Mr Mike O`Connell

By Mr Mike O`Connell
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr John Michael O'Connell is an expert consultant ENT and nasal plastic surgeon based in Brighton, Sussex and Surrey. With over 17 years of experience, he specialises in a wide range of ear, nose, throat (ENT) and neck operations, including pinnaplasty, balloon sinuplasty, and rhinoplasty, and treats all general ENT conditions in adults and children. In his private practice, he mainly deals with cosmetic nose and ear surgery, sinusitis, nasal problems, ear conditions, tonsil problems and paediatric ENT.

He trained at centres of excellence in London in both ENT and plastic surgery. He won various scholarships to train and work with leading surgeons in Germany, France and America. He completed his masters at the University of Sussex and was awarded the Royal Society of Medicine Otology prize for his thesis. Following this, he published research on rhinoplasty, facial surgery and ear disease.

He is a UK leader in balloon sinuplasty, the latest development in sinus surgery, which has greatly improved the surgical ability to deal with sinusitis. He also introduced coblation adenotonsillotomy to the Royal Alexander Childrens Hospital, Brighton, which notably reduces both the post-operative pain and the risk of bleeding after surgery.

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