Otoplasty, or ear plastic surgery, can correct the size, shape, and position of the ears, giving your child's face a more proportionate appearance. In addition to aesthetic benefits, there are significant psychological benefits of improving the appearance of your child's abnormal-looking ears. If you are considering pediatric otoplasty for your child, you will want to be equipped with as much information as you can. Please explore the following links to learn about the ear surgery procedure, from the initial consultation to the recovery period.
Pediatric Otoplasty Age Requirements
Pediatric otoplasty is most often performed on children between the ages of 4 and 14. The procedure is not recommended for children younger than four because their ears are still growing and developing. While ear surgery is commonly performed on children under the age of 14, many individuals choose to undergo cosmetic ear surgery as adults.
Benefits of Pediatric Otoplasty
Children can be cruel to others with physical differences, as they lack the maturity to know teasing can have a serious impact on one's emotional development. Large ears or those that stick out from the head tend to invite ridicule, which can cause low self-esteem and diminished social skills. Many parents choose to have their child undergo pediatric ear surgery at a younger age to prevent more serious social problems from forming. Once the otoplasty is performed, many parents notice that their children are more outgoing and confident, and go on to have a better quality of life as adults. Read more about the results of otoplasty.
The Otoplasty Consultation
The otoplasty consultation is a parent or guardian's chance to have the procedure and follow-up care fully explained. Depending on the age and maturity of the child, a parent or guardian may choose to have the child included in the consultation process. Children who are old enough may want to ask about the procedure and help decide on the final outcome. For parents and children, discussing the surgery and any related concerns with a doctor is a good way to help ease any apprehensions about ear surgery.
The Procedure - What to Expect
While adults may opt for either local or general anesthesia for their surgery, children are most often placed under general anesthesia during their procedure. Otoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient procedure; however, it is possible that a child may require an overnight stay in a hospital. Should this be the case, the parent or guardian will want to prepare the child beforehand, as staying overnight in a hospital can be a bit daunting for young children.
For more information on what to expect, we have provided a page of additional details concerning the actual surgical technique used in pediatric otoplasty.
Recovery from Pediatric Otoplasty
Pediatric otoplasty very seldom results in complications, but in order to prevent infection or prolonged healing, it is important that you explain the recovery process to your child, and follow your surgeon's instructions carefully. After the ear surgery, children will need to play calmly and avoid any boisterous activity for a few weeks. Parents or guardians should explain to their child that touching his or her ears will result in a longer healing time. Learn more about the recovery period following otoplasty.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view otoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Thomas L. Tzikas, MD, PA
Locate a Facial Cosmetic Surgeon in Your Region
If your child's self-esteem and relationships with peers are being impacted by his or her irregular ears, pediatric ear surgery is an excellent solution to consider. When it comes to your child, you want the most qualified surgeon you can find. Visit our directory to find experienced facial plastic surgeons in your area.