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OTOPLASTY in Manchester and Cheshire

At CLNQ in Cheshire & Manchester otoplasty or pinnaplasty is the surgical procedure for ear pinning. This is an operation that is used to correct prominent ears. The operation itself takes about 60 to 90 minutes to perform. This is usually performed under local anaesthetic which means you are awake during the procedure. Otoplasty is a commonly performed operation and was often performed in children. Due to changes in funding in the NHS, this procedure not commonly offered now in the public sector.

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There are a number of techniques for ear pinning or otoplasty. These procedures generally aim to define the antihelical fold which is the natural fold in the ear. People with prominent or sticking out ears will often have a poorly defined fold. Earfold was a technique of using a special clip to recreate the fold although these clips have now been discontinued. We use sutures placed within the cartilage to fold back the cartilage and define the fold. This is performed under local anaesthetic and as a day case or outpatient procedure.


There are a number of reasons why people may have prominent ears or consider an otoplasty and these include:

  • Genetics or family history of prominent ears
  • Deep conchal bowls
  • Lack of antihelical folds
  • Asymmetry of the ears

What are the risks of otoplasty?

During an otoplasty Manchester & Cheshire patients receive local anaesthetic. The procedure involves making an incision behind the ear and using stitches to fold back the cartilage. Some potential risks with otoplasty are discussed below although your plastic surgeon will discuss these and more during your consultation.

Bruising, Swelling, Bleeding

It is normal to get some swelling after any treatment and this usually takes a few days to two weeks to settle. Some patients may also experience bruising or bleeding which is can be related to medication being taken. Some medicines such as aspirin and herbal supplements can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising. It is important to inform us of any medications you take.


There will be a permanent scar at the back of the ear. The scar heals well in most people but some people may develop raised or lumpy scarring known as hypertrophic or keloid scars.


All patients have some degree of asymmetry between the ears before the procedure and there will always be some differences afterwards.

Change in Sensation

Any procedure can result in change in sensation to the ear. This is due to some of the sensory nerve being cut during the operation. These changes may be temporary or permanent.


Recurrence of the ear prominence may occur in some patients and this can be in up to 10%. Should this happen there is a possibility of further surgery to try and improve them.


Infections are uncommon following these procedures although they may occur. If this does happen then often oral antibiotics will improve the infection.

Suture Extrusion

Sometimes the deep permanent stitches used to fold the cartilage may try to break through the skin. They may need removal and this may cause recurrence of the prominence.

Changes with Time

There may be some changes with time and ageing. Commonly, the ear may become more prominent again with time. The individual changes will vary greatly and difficult to predict.

OTOPLASTY Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during the consultation?

You will have a consultation with our surgeon who will ask about your concerns and desired outcomes. They will take a full medical history and examine your ears. They will assess the cause of your ear prominence and how they can be addressed. The surgeon will explain the otoplasty procedure and discuss the risks with you.

When can I go back to work after otoplasty?

People may go back to work the day after the procedure should they wish although you will have a head band on for the first week following the procedure.

When can I go back to the gym?

We recommend that no strenuous activity is undertaken during the first 3-4 weeks following surgery. You can return back to the gym after 4 weeks but starting slowly and gradually building up again.

Do I need to wear a head bandage?

We do not usually use a big bulky dressing but a light head band to protect the ears. The head band will be placed immediately following your procedure. We recommend wearing this throughout the day and night for the first week. You should also continue to wear the head band at night for the following 6 weeks. The head band is like a tennis sweat band or light fashion hair band.

How much is otoplasty?

The price for otoplasty is from £4500. This is the price for the procedure as an outpatient under local anaesthetic. Should you want a general anaesthetic the price would be more.

Where are consultations and surgery performed?

We offer consultation and surgery for otoplasty in Manchester and Cheshire.

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