Can you have an otoplasty (ears pinned back) when suffering from tinnitus caused by acoustic trauma?

I have a 60dB hearing loss on my left ear and a little less on my right. I'm looking to get a simple ear-pinning surgery to my ears. Is the surgery going to have any further impact on my hearing? Is it related at all? I have not consulted any kind of doctor about this yet. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 3

Otoplasty and hearing

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Changing the shape of the external ear (otoplasty) does not affect hearing, as the part of the ear pertinent to hearing are beyond the ear canal and ear drum.  Consult a plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon for your ear-shaping desires, and make sure you follow with an ENT doctor for your hearing loss.  Good luck!  

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

Effect of otoplasty on hearing.

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Excellent question! The pinna--the outer part of the ear--does affect hearing and thus hearing can be altered by otoplasty. In fact, this issue has even been examined and published in an article by McNeil et al.(Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery 2013 42:10, "Can otoplasty impact hearing? A prospective randomized controlled study
examining the effects of pinna position on speech reception and
intelligibility" Now, the authors were not looking at actual otoplasty patients, but rather normal patients with normal appearing ears and then temporarily positioning their pinnae forward. As you might expect, cupping the ears forward did improve hearing in noise and speech intelligibility. OTOH, since the natural position of human ears is NOT in the prominent ear position, alterations in hearing are not normally a consideration in otoplasty. In your case, though, with an existing hearing loss, you *may* notice some decrease in certain hearing metrics after otoplasty. Excellent question, though. Hope this helps,
Pearson Facial Plastic Surgery®

David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Can you have an otoplasty (ears pinned back) when suffering from tinnitus caused by acoustic trauma?

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Tinnitus is not affected by an otoplasty. Nowadays you have the choice between a traditional method, that is invasive because the ears are cut open there, or the minimally invasive Merck stitch method, by which the ears are no longer cut open.

Waldemar Merck, MD
Germany Plastic Surgeon

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.