Corrective Ear Surgery for Children
Many children go through years of ridicule at the hands of their peers because of protruding ears. Luckily, this is easily corrected and will allow children to avoid unfortunate names such as “Dumbo ears”.
Otoplasty is a surgical procedure that can reposition the ears to establish a closer position to the head. This procedure can also correct certain deformities of the ear folds. It can be used to correct issues present at birth or that were caused by injury. The procedure can help with both overly large ears and protruding ears.
Children as young as four years of age are good candidates for this surgery; however, it can be performed on patients of any age. Generally, a child’s ear cartilage will need to be stable enough to undergo the correction procedures. Having this procedure performed early can avoid that name-calling and teasing that can negatively affect your child’s psychological development.
The Otoplasty Procedure
For very young children, general anesthetic is preferred, while older children and adults may be able to undergo the procedure with a local anesthesia with conscious sedation.
The procedure entails an incision made behind the ear, in the fold where the ear joins the head. This incision placement allows scars to be hidden. Cartilage and skin will be removed to achieve the desired effect. In certain cases, the ear cartilage could be reshaped for a more desirable form. The surgeon will then place the ears in a more normal location. The entire procedure generally takes about two to three hours to complete.
After the Ostoplasty Procedure
After the procedure, bandages will be worn to keep the ears in their new positions. Additionally, an elastic headband will be worn at night for about three to four weeks for further protection of the ears.
There is minimal discomfort that is easily controlled with post-procedure medications. The patient can return to normal activities within just a few days, but should avoid contact sports until completely healed.
Near immediate results will be experienced and visible once the bandages that are protecting the new shape are removed. There should be no immediately visible scars, just a new more natural look.
If you feel your child could benefit from cosmetic ear surgery, consult with a knowledgeable surgeon to discuss your options.