Otoplasty - Ear Pinning

It is one of the most popular surgical enhancements for men and women of all ages. In its 2022 annual audit, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) estimated that otoplasty / ear pinning was one of the top cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, for both women and men, with 783 cases performed in 2022.

If you're unhappy with your ears for any reason - whether it's because they stick out too far or droop down instead of standing up straight - otoplasty can give you the look you've always wanted.

This procedure is done under a local anaesthesia. It has minimal discomfort with little to no downtime. Pinning your ears back has given many great confidence, allowing more choice with hair styles and confidence to wear short hair.

Discover confidence with expert surgeons

  • Over 90 years of collective experience
  • We focus exclusively on facial procedures
  • GMC Specialist Register plastic surgeons
  • Experts - our surgeons have performed hundreds of ear operations
  • See our videos to find out more

Otoplasty - Key Information

Procedure length

45m to 75m


Local anaesthesia

Hospital stay

Day care

Up & mobile

Same day

Sleeping position

On your back for around 2 weeks


1 week

Sexual activity

1 week

Back to work

1 week


2 to 3 weeks

What happens in an otoplasty procedure? How is it performed?

Otoplasty is day case procedure, there are no overnight stays required. The first step of the procedure is to give you a local anaesthetic that will numb your ears. Our surgeon makes small incisions behind the ear and removes any scar tissue or cartilage that is causing your ears to stick out too far. Then we make tiny incisions in the creases of your ears and reposition them to give you the appearance you want. Finally, we close everything up with stitches barely noticeable after healing. The result is a less obvious and natural look.

Your newly shaped ears will be hidden in a thin bandage with medical tape to protect the area. The operation takes between one to two hours. At Kensington Medical we book a post operative appointment to ensure your ears are healing well about a week post-op.

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Who is a suitable candidate for this procedure?

This procedure is suitable for anyone unhappy with their ears. At Kensington Medical we only operate on people aged 18 or older. At your video consultation and then at your in-clinic consultation our specialist facial plastic surgeon will discuss your concerns and what you are hoping to achieve. The overriding factor that we see all the time is the confidence that this operation can give people.

What can an otoplasty achieve?

Otoplasty can improve your ears. It can change the positioning of the ear; this can be a large repositioning, or it can improve even small asymmetries in your ears. Our goal is to understand and create the look you want. Your ears can stand up straight and look more symmetrical, and we can bring them in closer to your head.

Frequently asked questions

If you are in good health, there are very few risks associated with an otoplasty. As with any surgery there will be some bleeding and bruising. However, with good aftercare the ears heal very well.

There may be changes in your skin sensation following the surgery, however this is temporary. As with all surgery infection or scarring is a risk, however we provide clear aftercare information and they are unlikely to occur. Discussion about risks and after care will be discussed in your preoperative and postoperative appointments.

Most of our patients return to work within a few days after surgery. There may be some discomfort, so you may have trouble sleeping for a few days. However, the medical team can help you with sleeping if necessary. Wearing a loose, soft headband around your ears while you sleep can help to improve comfort.

Following surgery, we advise that a friend or family member drives you home Strenuous activities should be avoided for three weeks. We do advise that contact sport such as rugby, boxing, martial arts should be avoided for at least 12 weeks. All of the aftercare information will be provided in your consultation. In most instances at Kensington Medical we use dissolvable stitches; your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.

The scars are often hidden behind the ears within the natural folds, so they are barely noticeable. Your plastic surgeons will explain the options to you during your consultation. Your aftercare and how to look after your exciting new ear shape will be thoroughly explained so you feel completely at ease.

Otoplasty will give you an immediate improvement and change to your ears. The results of otoplasty are permanent, this procedure is a reconstructive procedure so that the new look will not change.

The price for this procedure varies depending on a number of factors. Our surgeon will give you a specific estimate during your consultation.

Before the procedure, we will ask that you complete your medical history. We want to be confident that you’re healthy enough for surgery. We will need to know if you have any allergies, existing medical conditions, or take any daily medications. We prefer that you stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery, and this will help reduce your risk of complications and improve the results.

Otoplasty Surgeons

The next step to a refreshed you

The Kensington Medical team takes care of you throughout your otoplasty experience. Before proceeding to discuss the specific detail of your planned operation at your consultation in clinic, you will first have a video consultation with the plastic surgeon.

Looking and feeling great can impact daily activities. Our goal to ensure the procedure gives that feeling of confidence.

Medically reviewed by Mr David Gateley MA, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), GMC number 2939470 on 30 May 2022.