Some children can suffer through many years of ridicule from their peers because of protruding or misshapen ears. Luckily, there are procedures available that can correct the condition. It will prevent children from having to suffer any longer from being called names like “Dumbo Ears”.
Otoplasty to Reposition the Ears
Otoplasty or corrective ear surgery can reposition the ears so that they are in a position that is closer to the head. It can also be used to correct deformities of the ear folds. These issues can be either present at birth or could have been caused by injury. Otoplasty can also help correct overly large ears.
Children as young as four years of age can undergo ostoplasty, although anyone of any age can have the procedure. However, the child’s ear cartilage will need to have become stable enough to successfully undergo the procedure. The earlier this procedure is performed, the earlier the name-calling will cease, preventing any emotional or psychological damage.
The Otoplasty Procedure
In very young children, using a general anesthesia is preferred, while older children may be able to tolerant the procedure with just a local anesthetic, along with conscious sedation.
During the procedure, a small incision is made behind the ear in the fold of skin where the ear meets the head. This placement allows scars to be well hidden. Skin and cartilage will be removed to meet the desired look. In some case, the cartilage may be reshaped to present a more pleasing look. The surgeon will also place the ears in a position closer to the head. The procedure normally takes between two to three hours to complete.
After the Ear Correction Procedure
After the procedure, the patient will need to wear bandages to keep the ears in their new position. In addition, an elastic headband will be worn during the night for about three to four weeks to add further protection of the ears.
This procedure usually entails a minimal amount of discomfort or pain, which is easily reduced with over-the-counter medications. Patients can return to normal routines after just a couple of days; however, any contact sports should be avoided until the healing process is complete.
Almost immediate results will happen that are visible once the bandages are removed. There should be no visible scarring—just a new look.
If you think your child could benefit from ostoplasty, consult with an experienced surgeon to discuss the possible options.