Ear reshaping to help ‘big’ ears
Children with prominent ears are often embarrassed and endure a great deal of teasing from other children, which may affect their confidence and cause feelings of awkwardness in social settings. Fortunately, there is a type of plastic surgery known as otoplasty that will reshape the child’s ears.
Dr. Mark Mandell-Brown of Mandell-Brown Plastic Surgery Center in Cincinnati & Dayton, Ohio is known for “Natural Look” otoplasty or ear reshaping. He recently performed ear reshaping where the 12 year old boy was home schooled because he was teased about his ears. Having his ears pulled back into position by Dr. Mandell-Brown was like magic. He now has confidence and wants to go to public school. “This can be a common case with kids and even adults. Otoplasty is a good option for cases like the one explained above,” he goes on saying.
Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning, is an ear reshaping cosmetic surgery that is safe for children. The ear cartilage has hardened and the ears are typically fully developed at around the age of four, so otoplasty can be done at as early as age four. However, the majority of cosmetic surgeons recommend the procedure be done at school age, which is typically about the age of six.
The otoplasty procedure is fairly straightforward, simple and will be done in either the physician’s office or as an outpatient surgery at the hospital or medical surgery center. During the child’s initial consultation, the cosmetic surgeon will examine the ears and review the various options to correct the problem. In most cases, if only one ear needs to be reshaped, the physician typically recommends surgery for both ears in order to create a more natural appearance. The ear shaping procedure typically only takes about three to four hours. Younger children are typically given a general anesthesia and local anesthetic. Children usually are able to return home following the surgery, however, in rare situations the child may have to stay overnight at the hospital.
Following the otoplasty procedure, the child’s head will be wrapped in several layers of thick bandages. This is necessary for applying pressure to the ears to help maintain the new position as well as beneficial for the healing process and to protect the incision site. The head dressing is typically worn for about one week, but the child will need to visit the physician after a few days to have the bandages changed. The child will typically experience mild bruising and tenderness in the ear area, so they may be prescribed mild pain medications for a few weeks. It usually takes a month or more for a complete recovery. Otoplasty will not alter the child’s hearing capabilities and a successful procedure will leave the ears proportionate with the size and shape of the face and head.