There was a good chance growing up that you’ve seen or heard of a classmate teased and bullied for having “Dumbo” ears. This teasing can lead to confidence issues and poor self-esteem for many young children at a time in their life when they’re already insecure and worried about what others will think of them. Whether this has happened to you or you see it happening to your child, there has likely been a moment when you’ve wondered what could be done to fix the position and size of the ears without having to hide them under hats and hairstyles.
What Can Ear Surgery Correct?
Ears can be addressed the same as any other cosmetic issue with a surgery known as Otoplasty. Depending on the patient’s needs, ear surgery can either pin back prominent ears or reduce the size of overly large ears. To alter the position of protruding ears, your surgeon will re-sculpt the cartilage so that the ears will sit closer to the head. It is also possible to remove part of the cartilage to change the size of the ear so that there is balance with the rest of your, or your child’s, face.
Ear surgery also benefits those who have damaged their earlobes through injuries or gauged ears. Wearing heavy earrings or plugs causes lasting damage to the earlobe that only surgery can repair. Whether the earlobe tore due to an earring getting caught or pulled on, or the constant weight of earrings have stretched your piercing, it is possible to refresh and repair the damage, returning your earlobes to their normal shape.
Who Are Candidates for Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is different than many other types of cosmetic surgery in that the majority of patients are children. Since ears are fully grown around the age of four, children as young as that are candidates for otoplasty, and this surgery is commonly performed on children between four and fourteen; however, there is no maximum age limit. As with any surgery, patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations. Because this surgery is typically performed on children, it is essential to make sure that it is the child asking his/her parent for the surgery and not the other way around. It is of crucial importance that the child not only understands what this surgery will do and the permanent nature of it, but ultimately be the one to decide if it is what they truly want. Cosmetic surgery of any type is a deeply personal experience, and it is one that every patient, no matter their age, needs to make for themselves.