At our practice in Newport Beach, otoplasty is a common procedure for men and women who want to change the aesthetic look of their ears. An otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, is a procedure that is performed for the treatment of prominent ears. Below, we’ve included information about the procedure. If you’d like to book a consultation to meet with Dr. Sundine, please contact us today.

Siting in Bed Otoplasty -- Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Sundine

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is a procedure for setting back, pinning, or reducing large/prominent ears. Prominent ears can be the result of several factors. A common reason for prominent ears is a poorly developed or complete lack of antihelical fold, which is the fold just inside the rim of the ear. There may also be conchal hypertrophy, which is an enlargement of the bowl of the ear. There may also be a combination of both conchal hypertrophy and a poorly developed antihelical fold.

Prominent ears develop as a result of two main deformities or a combination of the deformities.

  • The outside curve of the external ear is known as the helical rim. The curvature that is just inside the helical rim is known as the antihelical fold. In many patients with prominent ears, there is a poorly developed antihelical fold, which causes the ear to protrude farther away from the head.
  • The bowl-shaped area of the external is known as the concha. In many patients with prominent ears, the conchal bowl is overdeveloped which causes the ears to stick out farther from the head. Some patients have both a combination of a poorly developed antihelical fold and conchal hypertrophy (an enlarged conchal bowl).
  • The ear lobule may also protrude excessively from the head and this can also be addressed at the time of the otoplasty procedure.
Otoplasty -- Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Sundine

What Are The Benefits

Of Otoplasty?

For our Newport Beach patients with larger or protruding back ears, there are so many wonderful benefits from Otoplasty, including:

  • Can be performed at almost any age
  • Correcting prominent ears
  • Increased self-confidence
  • More natural facial appearance
  • Results are permanent
  • Treatment is safe

Who is a Candidate

For Otoplasty?

Patients who are good candidates for otoplasty are in good health and are troubled by the appearance of their prominent ears.

Otoplasty may be performed on patients as young as age four and at any time after age four. Typically most patients present to us at age 6-8 for the procedure. Performing the otoplasty helps to prevent psychosocial issues such as teasing related to the appearance of the prominent ears.

Woman in white -- otoplasty

What’s The First Step?

The first step in getting an Otoplasty in the Orange County area is to contact the office of Michael J. Sundine, M.D., and schedule an appointment. This initial consultation will begin with understanding your personal and medical history and performing a full head and neck examination, followed by a discussion of how best to meet your vision.

During your consultation, Dr. Sundine will discuss a variety of techniques for otoplasty with you. The two of you will choose the method that results in the best outcome for you, with pre and post-treatment examples of other similar patients available for review. The details of the procedure and post-operative care are explained, and any questions you may have are answered. If a plan is confirmed to move forward with surgery, you meet with our Patient Coordinator to schedule a surgery date.

What to Expect on the Day of Otoplasty

We utilize a fully accredited (JCAHO level accreditation) outpatient surgical center that has significant experience in the treatment of pediatric patients. We utilize only board-certified anesthesiologists who are skilled in the treatment of pediatric patients.

In the vast majority of cases, the otoplasty procedure is performed using general anesthesia that is supplemented with local anesthesia. In rare cases, the procedure could be performed using local anesthesia with sedation, but this would be limited to adults or very mature adolescents.

The procedure begins by making marks on the rim of the ear on both sides and then measuring the distance of protrusion of the ear from the skull. This is done to produce a result that is as symmetrical as possible.

We then remove a small strip of skin from the back of the ear. This excision is oriented such that when the incision is closed the scar does not lay in the crease behind the ear, but is up on the back of the ear. In this way, glasses will not put pressure directly onto the scar.

The skin on the back of the ear is then separated from the cartilage of the ear. If the antihelical fold is not well developed, we then come to the front of the ear underneath the skin and use some special files to weaken the cartilage on the front of the ear. We then use some permanent sutures to create and maintain the fold. If the bowl of the ear (concha) is overdeveloped, we then plan for an excision of a small piece of the cartilage and the remaining cartilage is then sutured back together. Additional sutures may be used to suture the concha to the skull to reduce any further protrusion (concha-mastoid sutures). The skin is then sutured together and a well-padded head wrap is applied.

If a single ear is treated the procedure typically takes 1 ½ hour to perform. If both ears are treated it typically takes 2 ½ hours to perform.

Dr. Sundine getting ready for surgery



You will be given prescriptions for pain medication and a short course of antibiotics following the procedure. The antibiotics should be taken until they are completed and the pain medication is taken as needed. The headwrap should be left in place and will be removed by Dr. Sundine a week after the surgery is completed. You should sleep with some pillows behind your back to keep your head elevated. This will help with any swelling. You may shower but you should only shower from the neck down to keep the head wrap dry. You may wash your face with a washcloth. When the head wrap is removed you will notice that there still may be a small amount of bruising and swelling present. You may wash your hair after the head wrap is removed. The wound care is very simple and involves gently rubbing a Q-tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide over the suture line and stitches and then applying bacitracin ointment with another Q-tip. This should be done twice daily until the sutures have fallen out. No sutures need to be removed. You should wear a terry-cloth headband (similar to the type that tennis players use) essentially at all times following the procedure for a month. The purpose of the headband is to keep the ears from accidentally being pulled forward and possibly having a recurrence of the prominent ears.

You may resume full activities in one month following the removal of the headwrap. You may resume aerobic and reconditioning activities two weeks following the procedure.

How Much Does a Otoplasty Cost in Newport Beach?


Procedures performed solely for cosmetic purposes are typically not covered by insurance. Patients should discuss with their insurance carrier the availability or degree of coverage for the procedure. The cost of the surgery can vary on a number of factors. During your consultation with Dr. Sundine, he will be able to provide all costs and answer your questions.

Why Choose Dr. Sundine?

Michael J. Sundine, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P. has been featured on the Discovery Health Channel’s “Plastic Surgery Before and After”, as well as in Los Angeles Magazine as a Southern California Super Doctor for Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. As a graduate of multiple honors from the St. Louis University School of Medicine, he routinely takes on the most difficult of cases and has developed a national and international referral base and a reputation of excellence. Dr. Sundine is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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Dr. Michael J. Sundine has more than 23 years of experience performing facial plastic and reconstructive procedures for patients who wish to enhance their appearance and self-confidence. In addition to treating ear surgery patients, he has helped many rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, and facelift Orange County patients look and feel their best. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sundine, please contact us at 949-706-3100 today!

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Your procedure questions answered.

Otoplasty Aftercare Instructions

Real Patients

Real Reviews

What I really like about Dr. Sundine is his vast experience and training. I also like the fact he did not try to sell me other procedures. He is also very down to earth and easy to talk to. I am very satisfied with the results and I highly recommend him.

After much research and multiple visits to other surgeons, I knew right away that Dr. Sundine was the perfect choice for me. I felt completely confident in his ability from the first visit to the last. I have been singing his praises to all of my friends and will recommend him to anyone searching for a plastic surgeon. Thanks, Dr. Sundine

Dr. Sundine is an excellent plastic surgeon! I have been using his services for almost 5 years. If you want to look years younger and fully refreshed I highly recommend that you use his services. Patients walk out looking naturally gorgeous, not overdone like some of the women in Orange County!

Dr. Sundine is the best plastic surgeon. Dr. Sundine’s excellent skills and knowledge has made my surgery turn out so well. But more importantly, it made me feel better about myself. Again, thank you Dr. Sundine for all you have done for me. You are the best surgeon!

I gave Dr. Sundine the highest possible review in each category because he truly deserved the highest reviews on every level. I am a very well recognized lawyer on the West Coast. My firm has spent millions of dollars on television advertising in which I appear. I could not afford to have a bad facelift or even for people to notice I had a facelift at all. I interviewed many physicians including some of the “celebrity” physicians. Ultimately, I chose Dr. Sundine.