There are few facial features that can summon more cruelty from children than ears that are out of proportion or that stick out. Children who suffer such taunts from their peers may experience lasting effects of that abuse. Even adults who come to me with the desire to correct this easily correctable feature often report that it has become a source of embarrassment, self-consciousness, or shame.
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is as simple as it is effective. You or your child can be in and out of my office in a matter of hours, and reap the benefits for a lifetime. This procedure can be performed at any age after the ears have reached full size, which is usually around five to six years of age. I do want to stress, however, that when considering otoplasty, parents must be confident that they have their child’s best interests at heart. A positive attitude toward the procedure is an important factor in all facial plastic surgery, but it is especially critical when the patient is a child or adolescent.
Adult candidates for ear surgery should understand that the firmer cartilage of fully developed ears is not quite as easily molded as the cartilage in children. A simple conversation can help parents decide what is best for their child, not only aesthetically, but also psychologically and physically. Timing is always an important consideration as well – having the procedure at a young age is highly desirable in two respects: the cartilage is extremely pliant, and your child will experience psychological benefits from the cosmetic improvement. For adults, it is important to understand what to expect throughout the process.
During our consultation, I carefully examine the structure of the ears and discuss possibilities for correcting the problems. Even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” surgery will probably be recommended on both ears to achieve the most balanced and symmetrical appearance.
Ear Surgery: The Procedure
Surgery begins with an incision just behind the ear, in the natural fold where the ear is joined to the head. The cartilage and skin is molded to create an ideal structure, and in some cases sutures will be applied to secure the new shape in place. Natural healing orients the ear into the desired position, where it will remain.
After Your Otoplasty Procedure
Immediately following ear surgery, dressings are applied to aid in healing and comfort. If you are accustomed to sleeping on your side, your sleep patterns may be disrupted for a week or so. I may also recommend wearing a headband, especially in children, to hold the ears in the desired position for a couple weeks after the procedure. Your scar will be hidden in a natural crease behind the ear.
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is one of the simplest things you can do to create a more balanced appearance and enhance the confidence of you or your child. If you want to learn more about otoplasty or plastic cosmetic surgery anywhere in Beverly Hills, Century City or West los Angeles, please don’t hesitate to contact me right away.