Unless they stand out more than usual, ears don’t really get all that much attention, but if they do stick out, it’s a whole different story.
When your ears become a feature that people focus on when they first meet you or speak to you, it will eventually start affecting your self-esteem, particularly in the case of children.
The good news is that otoplasty is a straightforward procedure that can address this problem, leaving the patient with symmetry and a renewed sense of confidence. There are two different types of otoplasty procedures available, one that requires incisions and one that doesn’t.
Ear Pinning Explained
Otoplasty, which is more commonly referred to as ear pinning, works on the size, shape and position of one or both ears. Ear pinning is the recommended procedure for patients who have prominent ears that are a constant source of embarrassment.
Some of the other reasons that a doctor may recommend ear pinning include:
- One or both of the ears fold over on the top
- The patient has ears of different shapes or sizes
- The ears are not in proportion to the patient’s other facial features
- One or both of the ears were injured or have a birth defect
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The earlobes are another area of the ears that can be reshaped, with tears from piercings being one of the most common reasons for seeking help. However, patients do need to be adults in order for ear lobe repairs to be carried out.
The Best Age for Otoplasty
While some people only seek treatment for their protruding ears later on in life, the effects of having prominent ears are generally worse during childhood years. There is already a lot of bullying and teasing that goes on in schools, with prominent ears being one of those features that would only amplify this.
Research shows that children who are bullied experience a lack of self-esteem, social challenges and poor results in school more often than children who aren’t, which is why many parents start considering otoplasty when their child is still young.
Whether you opt for a traditional otoplasty procedure or the incisionless version, your child’s ears need to be fully mature before they’ll be an ideal candidate. Most doctors will perform the procedure after the age of five, while others prefer to wait until the age of seven or eight.
Is Your Child Ready?
Many parents worry about whether their child is ready for this type of procedure but if your child understands what the procedure is for and is able to follow basic instructions, it’s safe for you to go ahead.
If you’ve chosen to go ahead with traditional otoplasty, a general anaesthetic will be required, which means you will need to go through your child’s medical history with your doctor.
Following your procedure, you will be given a set of instructions that will need to be followed during recovery, which may include wearing a special headband for a week or more. Most patients can return to school within a week of their procedure.