There are only a handful of people who can be recognized by their silhouettes alone.
Michael Jordan’s silhouette features his high flying slam dunk pose. Michael Jackson’s silhouette brings his famous moonwalk to life. Slash from GNR rocks out with his top hat and signature leaning back guitar stance. And even though he’s not a rock star or professional athlete, Barak Obama belongs to this small group of silhouette celebrities… all thanks to hit ears!
Of course we would never expect the President to change anything about his stately ears now that they are world famous, but if he ever wanted to, he would be the perfect candidate for otoplasty, or ear pinning, surgery.
Keep Reading to learn more!
What is an Otoplasty?
An otoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves an incision hidden in the natural crease behind the ear through which the cartilage can be reshaped to give the ears a more natural, and less noticeable, appearance.
What makes someone a candidate for otoplasty surgery?
Almost any cartilage irregularities of the ear can be improved with an otoplasty, but there are two main problems that the procedure is designed to fix:
- A large conchal bowl. The conchal bowl is the concave piece of cartilage that you can feel when you put your finger behind your ear and push forward. An extra large concha is the most common reason why ears stick out, and trimming the conchal cartilage is the most common technique used in otoplasty surgery.
- An absent antihelical fold. A normal ear has two folds of cartilage running around the top edge of the ear… one fold on the outside, and another one just inside of that. The inside fold is sometimes flattened or completely absent, and this makes the ear appear much larger and flatter than it actually is. Restoring or enhancing the antihelical fold is also a very common technique in otoplasty surgery.
President Obama and Jennifer Garner both have ears that “stick out” because of conchal excess, and both could benefit tremendously from ear pinning surgery in which the concha is trimmed and reshaped to bring the ear closer to the head in a more natural position. Jennifer Garner was actually interviewed by InStyle Magazine about her ears, and this is what she said: “My ears stick right out. As I’ve gotten a bit more self-assured, I’ve told myself, ‘Just don’t fight the ears; you can’t win!'”
I certainly applaud Jennifer’s self-reassuring confidence, but her statement about not being able to fight the ears, isn’t totally accurate. With a 2-hour surgery, and a 1-week recovery, she could fight the ears if she wanted to, and she would definitely win the battle!
How long does ear pinning surgery take?
A simple otoplasty takes about 2 hours, and a more complicated one can take as long as 3.5 to 4 hours depending on what needs to be done. On average, most otoplasties will be somewhere between 2 and 3 hours long.
How long is the recovery after ear pinning surgery?
The recovery after otoplasty is fairly straightforward. You go home the same day after the procedure with a comfortable bandage wrapped around your ears. Most surgeons will have you leave the bandage in place for a few days (or up to a week in some cases). After the bandage comes off, you will be able to see the results immediately. There may be some minor bruising and swelling, but for the most part, your ears will look great even at this early stage. There may or may not be an stitches to remove depending on your surgeon’s preference. After the initial bandage comes off, you’ll be able to shower and wash your hair normally. Your surgeon will likely have you wear a strap or headband while you sleep at night for a month or so to protect your ears when you’re not awake, but other than that, there isn’t much else to do.
How can I get more information about ear pinning?
If you are interested in learning more about otoplasty, or in scheduling a consultation to have it done, feel free to call or text our office anytime at 917-703-7069. You can also contact us through our website by clicking here.Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon New York
Photo Credit: Mad Magazine, Bloomberg Business Weekly InStyle Magazine
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.