Otoplasty—more commonly referred to as ear pinning surgery—is one of the few cosmetic surgeries performed on children. However, many adults also undergo otoplasty to help reduce the projection of their ears. Since the hair of the head often extends down near or behind the ears, patients sometimes ask, “Do you have to shave your head for otoplasty?”
No, patients do not need to shave their head for a routine ear pinning procedure. The hair usually does not get in the way because most otoplasty incisions are made behind the ear and where the ear meets the head. Wearing your hair up for surgery (if you have long hair) or keeping it freshly trimmed usually will allow your surgeon the room they need to operate without disrupting your hair or vice versa.
In rare cases, a small portion of hair may need to be shared. While exceptionally rare for this procedure, if it does happen, only a small patch of hair will be removed and most will try to keep it as hidden as possible or ensure the rest of their hair can hide it.
Dr. Jonov is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in plastic surgeries of the face, breast, and body at Seattle Plastic Surgery.