Is this a viable alternative to getting my ears pinned?
Doctor Answers 3
Pinning back the ears
Recreating the antihelical fold via a piercing and placement of a stud can help in some cases of prominent ears. Cartilage piercings do carry a risk of infection and cartilage necrosis. The stud will invariably create some pressure of the underlying skin that could lead to long term problems. A revision otoplasty should work just fine in most cases so you should look into it. Good luck.
Use or Piercing to tack back Prominent Ears
Dr. Peter A. AldeaMemphis, TN
Otoplasty vs piercing
It is difficult to recommend a specific treatment for you without photos or a thorough exam. That said, generally speaking, piercings are not a great idea for reshaping ears. Most likely, your antihelix lacks a true fold because of the way the cartilage formed. Simply bending the cartilage and piercing it in place does nothing to treat the underlying problem and would result in significant tension at the piercing site. A piercing is a focal wound, and wounds under tension do not heal well and are prone to complications including erosion and scarring. My guess is that things would be fine initially, but you would eventually have problems down the road. Also, to achieve a normal contour you would likely need to pierce at multiple locations along the antihelix.
You bring up an interesting idea to address prominent ears but I think the best recommendation for long-term success would be a revision otoplasty. Good luck!
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