“Over sized, misshapen or prominent ears can create self consciousness in children and if left untreated, become more difficult to camouflage as an adult. Otoplasty, better known as ear surgery is relatively simple, effective and can offer significant psychological relief.”
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- Parents who are concerned with the appearance of their child’s ears are encouraged to visit a plastic surgeon sooner rather than later.
- Ears can be surgically altered depending on the issue at hand.
- Ear surgery can be an adjunct procedure to facial surgery.
- Scars are hidden and recovery is relatively easy.
Parents who are concerned with the appearance of their child’s ears, or who notice their children’s concern, are encouraged to visit a plastic surgeon sooner rather than later. Ears reach their full size by 5-6 year of age. Doing ear surgery when a child is young has two benefits. The first reason is anatomical—the cartilage is extremely pliable in small children. Second, the child will reap psychological benefits and will avoid unnecessary stress from the cosmetic procedure. Ears can be surgically altered depending on the issue at hand. Aesthetic surgery can dramatically improve virtually any ear issue; even microtia, or absence of the ear. Most commonly, however, I see protruding and overly large ears. Surgery can also treat large or stretched earlobes, and lobes with deep creases and wrinkles. The technique used is dependent on the anatomic issue in question. The cartilage is either removed, shaped, folded or trimmed. Once the cartilage is properly shaped, permanent sutures are used to anchor the cartilage in its new position. The key is smooth contours without apparently cut or sharp edges and harmonious symmetry. Ear surgery can be an adjunct procedure to facial surgery. In adults, as the facial skeleton shrinks with age and the ears appear bigger and I will on occasion suggest a reduction, especially if the patient wears a short hair style or wears their hair back. Otoplasty can easily accompany facial rejuvenation as part of the surgical plan. Scars are hidden and recovery is relatively easy. The scars are well concealed behind the ear, where one’s glasses fit between the ear and scalp. The results are natural and undetectable in most cases, as the ear is set back or reduced in size or both. The recovery is neither painful nor laborious; there may be post-operative bleeding and is a sign we educate patients to observe.