Ear reshaping, also known as otoplasty, is a simple cosmetic surgery to bring conspicuous, asymmetrical, or disproportionate ears into harmony with the rest of the face. As an expert in facial anatomy, Dr. Schmidt is attentive not only to the appearance of the ears themselves, but also to how otoplasty can shift the balance among facial features.

Ear reshaping is a low risk, routine surgery that does not impact hearing. It is often performed on children and teenagers, and can significantly boost confidence and a positive self-image.

Dr. Schmidt also performs earlobe repair surgeries for individuals with stretched or torn earlobes.

Who is a candidate for ear reshaping?

Ear reshaping surgery can address a range of issues for both young and adult patients. Candidates for this procedure include:

  • Children, teenagers, or adults whose ears are disproportionate to the head or asymmetrical
  • Patients whose ears have been damaged in an injury
  • Patients looking to repair stretched or torn earlobes

How does ear reshaping work?

During an ear reshaping procedure, Dr. Schmidt will remold or trim cartilage to reposition the ears in-line with the shape of the head and face. Permanent internal sutures keep the ears pinned in their new positions.

Depending on the patient’s anatomy, Dr. Schmidt will hide incisions behind the ear or within the folds of the ear. In certain cases where cartilage does not need to be removed, Dr. Schmidt can perform an ear reshaping without an incision.

Dr. Schmidt also treats adult patients who want their earlobes restored to their natural shape. These include patients whose earlobes have been stretched by gauge earrings, or whose earlobes have been torn. Dr. Schmidt will cut away the pierced or torn area, then reshape and suture the lobe into a proportionate, natural curve.


After an ear shaping procedure, patients will wear a postoperative dressing for about one week. Afterwards, dressing is only worn at night, so that the ear doesn’t become stressed or compressed during sleep.

Patients can typically remove the dressing and return to normal activity after about two weeks.

Otoplasty FAQs

Will Denver ear pinning make my ears smaller?

While Dr. Schmidt can make ears appear less prominent with otoplasty, it’s essential to note that this procedure doesn’t change the size of the ears.

What is the recovery process like?

Otoplasty does require some downtime for healing, though it is relatively short. For the first week after surgery, patients must wear a supportive dressing to hold their ears in their new shape and protect them from injury. There is minimal discomfort associated with otoplasty recovery. Most patients can go back to work or school after about two weeks. If your child is active in sports, Dr. Schmidt may recommend taking a longer break from those hobbies to ensure their ears have time to heal fully.

Can ear surgery repair my damaged earlobes?

Many people who experienced tears from getting their earrings caught on clothes can benefit significantly from an otoplasty. If you’ve worn heavy, dangling earrings for years or deliberately stretched your earlobes with gauge-style earrings, Dr. Schmidt can perform an earlobe repair in Denver, Colorado.

Will my health insurance cover the cost of my ear surgery in Denver?

Most health insurance providers will not pay for elective cosmetic surgeries. Dr. Schmidt can give you a more accurate estimate of how much you might expect an otoplasty to cost during an in-person consultation.

Will my child get more frequent ear infections after ear pinning surgery?

Undergoing an otoplasty surgery won’t make a child more prone to ear infections. However, if ear infections have been a frequent health problem for your child in the past, Dr. Schmidt might recommend postponing the procedure until your general practitioner helps get the issue under control.

What is the best age to get an ear pinning procedure?

It’s safe for a child to have otoplasty surgery once their ears are at or near their adult size. Fortunately, the ears grow quickly, typically reaching this point by age 5. If you’re worried your child might be a target of teasing in elementary school due to their prominent ears, Dr. Schmidt might suggest getting this procedure done sooner, instead of waiting. Younger patients also have softer ear cartilage, which tends to be easier to work with.

Please note that there is no upper age limit on when parents can choose to have this procedure done for their children. For instance, if your child has been victimized by bullying throughout elementary school, you may want to have an ear surgery performed before they start middle school. Of course, you can also get otoplasty as an adult.

How can I learn more about otoplasty in Denver?

We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schmidt. During this appointment, you can get answers to all your questions and make a more informed decision about whether this procedure is right for you or your child.

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With over 15 years of surgical experience, Dr. Schmidt focuses on each patient’s unique needs, concerns, and goals to provide a beautiful, natural result for cosmetic, reconstructive and non-surgical procedures. View Dr. Schmidt’s before and after photos to see the results other patients have achieved.

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