Otoplasty & Ear Pinning in San Antonio

Want to get ear surgery in San Antonio? Ear pinning or “otoplasty” is a cosmetic procedure performed to shape and position a misaligned or overly-prominent ear. Ear reconstruction is used in cases of birth defects, developmental abnormality, or from traumatic injury. Loss of the external ear also occurs due to cancer resection. If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your ears, schedule a consultation with Dr. Barrera to address your concerns.

At what age is otoplasty or ear pinning surgery performed?

Otoplasty can be performed in infants at birth. By gently shaping the ears with a malleable splint, the ears can be conformed during the first 7 – 10 days of life. Most children undergo otoplasty at 5 to 6 years of age  prior to starting school. Otoplasty can be performed at any age. Adults also undergo otoplasty procedures to improve the size and symmetry of the external ears.


How is otoplasty and ear pinning surgery done?

Reshaping the external ear may require cartilage carving or Mustarde suture technique to shape the ear. The sutures are permanent and are used to create an antihelical fold. In addition, a conchal set back suture may also be used to reposition the ear. Pediatric patients may also benefirt from a incisionless technique. This minimally invasive approach to the ear reshapes the antihelical fold without making an incision in the skin. Certain birth deformities like cup or lop ears may require additional surgery in addition to traditional otoplasty technique. Patients born with an absent ear or have suffered trauma or burns to the external ear may benefit from microtia surgery. Microtia repair may use the sixth through eighth ribs to form a cartilagenous replacement for the ear. The newly formed ear is matched in size and shape to the normal opposite ear. Microtia surgery involves a three to four stage procedure to accomplish the goal of symmetry and formation of an external ear. The external ear, tragus, and lobule can all be reconstructed. Ear lobe tears from wearing ear rings and ear gauges can also be repaired. Patients who have suffered trauma or loss from a cancer resection can also benefit from microtia repair using rib cartilage to reform an absent or nearly absent external ear.

Why see Dr. Jose Barrera, MD, for otoplasty or ear pinning surgery?

San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Jose Barrera, M.D., is triple board certified having earned certification in Otolaryngology and in the subspecialty of Sleep Medicine from the American Board of Otolaryngology as well as in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Barrera completed his residency at the University of Colorado having trained at Denver Children’s Hospital in Otoplasty and ear pinning surgery as well as Stanford University in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


Postoperative Instructions

Medication Should Be Taken As Directed:

  • Do not take aspirin or anti-coagulants for 2 weeks.
  • Prescription pain medication can cause nausea, vomiting & constipation. Take 1/2 a pill with food (NOT on an empty stomach) if needed. You may take another 1/2 pill in 20 minutes and up to 2 every 4 hours as needed for pain.


  • Should be minimal for the next 48 hours
  • Do not drive or engage in activities that depend on your coordination for 48 hours.

Wound Care:

  • Leave the head dressing on until your first post-op visit. If you are wearing the plastic cup dressing, remove it the next day and start wearing the headband.
  • Dressing will be replaced with headband, which should be worn for 2-3 weeks.
  • You may wash your hair with gentle shampoo after head dressing is removed.

Call if you experience:

  • Temperature greater than 101 degrees that cannot be controlled with Tylenol.
  • Increased pain not relieved by medication, especially if one side is much more painful than the other.
  • Increased bleeding through the dressing.

FAQs for Ear Surgery

The average cost of otoplasty in Texas can range from $2,000 – $4,000. However, the cost of your ear surgery mainly depends upon the procedure that you get. For instance, if you are getting the surgery for your child, the incisionless technique for pediatric patients may cost less than an external ear reconstruction through microtia surgery.

For this reason, you need to hold a personalized consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine your costs for ear surgery in the Lone Star State. After a detailed discussion, Dr. Barrera can provide you with a precise estimate for your otoplasty.


The duration of your otoplasty depends upon the type of ear surgery that you need. In many cases, the procedure is completed within two-three hours. You do not typically need to stay at the surgical facility overnight. This means that you can recover in the comfort of your home after your otoplasty.

Before your surgery, Dr. Barrera ensures to guide you through the required steps and expected duration of the procedure. This helps you learn more about the process that is relevant to your specific case.

Otoplasty provides permanent results in enhancing and correcting the appearance of your ears. This ensures that you can restore and build your confidence without having to go through the procedure repeatedly.


Otoplasty is focused on enhancing and correcting the appearance of the external ear. This means that it does not affect your hearing. Instead, it enhances the shape of your ear in order to make it look more aesthetically appealing.

If you are experiencing both hearing and aesthetic issues regarding your ears, you can go through targeted treatment for your hearing and otoplasty for your ear’s appearance separately. After discussing your requirements and goals from the surgery, Dr. Barrera can guide you through the process while keeping your comfort in mind.

You may be an ideal candidate for the otoplasty if the appearance of your external ear is affected due to any of the following reasons:

  • Misaligned ears
  • Overly large ears
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Developmental disorders
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Cancer resection

Otoplasty can be done at any age; for instance, ear surgery can be done on healthy infants after the identification of certain congenital disabilities. In some cases, children get their ear surgery at 5-6 years of age before joining school. If you are not happy with the external appearance of your ears as an adult, you can also get otoplasty, as long as you are in overall good health.

If you are not aware of any underlying conditions that might be causing you to be dissatisfied with the appearance of your ears, you can still discuss your concerns with a plastic surgeon. By holding a consultation with Dr. Barrera, you can determine which otoplasty technique can deliver the results that you want.

After your otoplasty, you need to follow a set of instructions for optimal recovery. Besides minimizing discomfort, this also allows you to avoid major complications. While your specific instructions might vary, you typically need to keep the following suggestions in mind.

  • Avoid physically demanding activities for at least a week after your surgery.
  • Take pain medications and antibiotics after your surgery as prescribed by your surgeon.
  • For the first 1-2 weeks, keep your head at an elevated position to avoid bruising and swelling.
  • Avoid touching the surgery site in order to minimize the chances for an infection.
  • Return to your usual activities after consulting with your surgeon at your follow-up appointments.