Can Ears Be Lifted Up Slightly and Pinned Back?

hi i was wondering if ears can be lifted vertically (about 10mm) so that they level with the nose? i.e my nose from top to bottom is parallel to my ears if you draw a line horizontally across the center of my face, my nostrils level to the middle of my ears, but it'd be better if my ear LOBES were horizontally in level with my nostrils. Also, can they be pinned back after doing this cause they also stick out slightly, but not drastically thanks for your answers in advance! hope i made sense..

Doctor Answers 8

Ear pinning and lifting

I have extensive experience in otoplasty. The last time I checked my numbers I do 10 times as many ear pinnings as the average aesthetic plastic surgeon. I have pinned many ears and lifted a few. I think 1cm is a lot to ask for a lift, but 5mm is often a realistic goal. Best of luck!

Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Alignment of Ears / 'Pinning' Back Ears During Otoplasty

The vertical alignment of the ears can be altered slightly, that is they can be pulled up by a few millimeters but unlikely by an entire centimeter as you are describing.  You have to be mindful that there are multiple factors that play into our perception of the orientation and alignment of our ears.  The slightest tilt in the angle of our faces changes these alignments.  Good quality photographs with your head in the proper position (90 degree orientation from the ground) are performed prior to an otoplasty procedure.  These photos help to communicate your concerns and goals with your surgeon.  Commonly, during an otoplasty procedure when the ears are ‘pinned’ back they are also slightly lifted.

Anthony Bared, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Lifting Ears Up and Pinning Back

  Pictures would be necessary to determine what is possible in this instance.  If there is pinning back that is needed this is a common request.   Shifting of the entire up or down is not possible, unless there is a significant component of redundancy, which can be stretched and reoriented.  Kenneth Hughes, MD otoplasty ear pinning Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Ears lifted and pinned

It is certainly possible to re-shape the cartilage of the  ears and pin them back.  The incision is located  on the back of the ear.  It is impossible to raise the ears up because the are directly connected to the bony ear canal which is fixed into the temporal bone of the skull.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Ear Lifting Effect Is Very Minimal

While ears can be pinned back by cartilage folding, they can not really be moved higher. They are pinned in their vertical position by the external auditory canal cartilage which resists any significant upward movement other than a few millimeters.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Can Ears Be Lifted Up Slightly and Pinned Back?

Ear pinning or otoplasty is a common procedure, that can set the ear back and reshape the natural folds of the ear. However, vertically lifting the ears 10mm is impossible. It is impossible to completely detach the ear, reposition it and expect it to survive let along remain in its new location. It seems like that would be straight-forward but it cannot be done. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews


It is possible to change the size and shape through pinning back, and reducing the pinna and lobes.  However, you cannot move the ear due to auditory canal being a fixed structure.

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Moving the ear

It is not possible to "move" the ear up or down because it is attached to your auditory canal.  However the ears can be pinned back or even made smaller to compensate for unfavorable appearances.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.