Will Your Child Benefit from Otoplasty?

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is one of the few plastic surgery procedures recommended for even very young patients today. Children with protruding ears or other anatomical abnormalities can improve the appearance of the ear and achieve facial balance through a relatively straightforward surgical procedure that offers permanent results. If you are considering otoplasty for your child, check out the benefits this procedure can offer.

Bullying and Self Esteem

Protruding or overly large ears are a source of teasing and bullying for many children. Studies have shown that frequent bullying during the childhood years can lead to consequences well into adulthood. Children that face persistent bullying tend to be socially withdrawn and may face academic challenges. Bullying can even affect children into adulthood, causing social, personal and professional challenges often not faced by other adults.

Teasing and bullying over physical characteristics like protruding ears is common during the early school years and beyond. A 2007 study from researchers at University Hospital of North Staffordshire found that children that underwent otoplasty reported increased happiness, self-confidence and social interaction. Many that had been bullied prior to their surgery reported that bullying significantly decreased or was eliminated entirely after otoplasty. Another study found that 90 percent of children that underwent otoplasty for protruding ears experienced significant declines in emotional stress after having surgery.

Outpatient Procedure, Quick Recovery

Otoplasty is a relatively simple surgical procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis today. The procedure involves reshaping of  the ear cartilage and repositioning the ear to a more attractive position in relation to the facial profile. After the procedure, children may wear a special headband to hold the ears in their new position and assist in the healing process. Post-operative pain is typically minimal and can be effectively managed through oral pain medication.

Most kids are back to regular activities within 1-3 weeks. Once the ears have healed, the results of otoplasty should be permanent. Visible scarring is fairly non-existent, since incisions are usually placed behind the ear where they will be hidden.

Otoplasty is a procedure that can be performed on children as young as six or seven, when the ears have finished growing and developing. Parents often choose to have the procedure at a young age so as to avoid teasing or bullying that often occurs on the playground and in the classroom. However, the procedure can be performed on older children and adults as well for those who decide they are ready for a new and improved appearance.

Otoplasty offers numerous benefits to patients of all ages, but is particularly advantageous to the children in elementary school. To learn more about this procedure, contact Umansky Plastic Surgery at 858-281-4560.