Large or protruding ears can be a source of embarrassment and psychological distress for children as well as their parents. There is nothing worse than watching your child being bullied as a result of something he or she cannot help. However, this is exactly what happens to many children who are born with protruding or overly large ears. Having ears that stick out too much or are overly large can undermine a child’s self-confidence and eventually affect their emotional well-being. For this reason, many children, with the support of their parents, elect to have Otoplasty: a type of cosmetic surgery that is used to re-shape or enhance the appearance of ears.
Typically, this type of cosmetic surgery is performed on children, once the ears have reached their full size. This usually occurs between the ages of five and six years. However, this type of procedure can be performed on children at older ages as well as adults. There are two different types of Otoplasties that can be used to address overly large or protruding ears including the following:
- Otopexy – the ears are pinned back for a flattening effect
- Macrotia – the size of the pinna on the ear is reduced
In children, general anesthesia is used in Otoplasty surgery. The procedure typically lasts one to two hours. After the procedure, the patient will have bandages over the ears for several days after surgery. After the removal of the bandages, a supportive loose headband is worn over the ears at night. Wearing the supportive headband at night will prevent the ears from being pulled forward when the individual moves in his/her sleep. In most cases, children can return to school within a week of the surgical procedure. Regular exercise can resume within two weeks, however, patients are urged to avoid any activities that could cause trauma or injury to the ears during the recovery period. Physical contact sports should be avoided for three months or more and swimming should be avoided for up to eight weeks after surgery.
If you have questions or would like additional information regarding Otoplasty surgery either for yourself or for your child, talk to a board-certified plastic and/or reconstructive surgeon in your local area today. After a thorough evaluation, he or she can help you determine if this surgical procedure is right for you or your child.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones, Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists, P.C.
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