Ear pinning surgery

What is ear pinning surgery?

Ear pinning surgery (pinnaplasty) is an operation to reshape the ears and make them less prominent. This can be done from the age of approximately six years depending on the thickness of the cartilage.

This operation can be performed under local anaesthetic for adult patients, but is better under general anaesthetic for children. The surgery is performed as a day case. Ear pinning surgery is not normally funded by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation.

Not normally funded treatment or procedure:

Ear pinning surgery to improve appearance will not usually be carried out on the NHS for cosmetic reasons. However, there may be rare exceptional circumstances.

The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded. The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).

Advice and further guidance:

Ear pinning surgery generally involves:

  • Making one small cut (incision) behind the ear to expose the ear cartilage
  • Removing small pieces of cartilage if necessary
  • Scoring and stitching the remaining structure into the desired shape and position.
  • For more information search for ‘ear correction surgery’ at www.nhs.uk
  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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