Ear Surgery in Children
Bullying is a big concern for young children. This is a problem that seems to be of particular concern in today’s age of social media. While we all want our children to feel confident in themselves, wouldn’t it be nice if we could correct a flaw that may make them stand out as a target for bullying? At Dr. Greg Gaines Gaines Plastic Surgery practice, otoplasty surgery can be performed to reshape the ears and prevent them from sticking out away from the head. This surgery is very low risk and can be performed on children to give them greater confidence and help reduce their chance of getting bullied.
Ideal candidates for otoplasty surgery include any patient who feels that their ears are too large or protrude too far from the side of the face. Many parents have concerns about allowing children to undergo plastic surgery, but otoplasty one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures for children. A child’s ears are usually fully grown between the ages of 4 and 6 years old, so as long as they have reached that point, they are candidates for otoplasty surgery. In fact, surgery may be during childhood because the cartilage in the ear is more pliable in children and can allow for more successful results.
For our younger patients, Dr. Gaines will likely use general anesthesia for the surgical procedure. Each surgery may be slightly different to account for each patient’s needs. In general, Dr. Gaines will make a small incision behind the patient’s ear. Dr. Gaines may sculpt and remove some of the cartilage and reposition the ear so that it sits in a more attractive position closer to the patient’s head. Another option is to remove excess skin but keep the cartilage and fold it back to alter the appearance of the ears. Again, this will be determined based on each patient’s needs and can be discussed at your initial consultation with Dr. Gaines. Following recovery, patients will have ears that sit closer to the head and are more proportionate to their head and body size.
After otoplasty, children will go home with bandages around their head and ears. Children will need to rest for the first week after surgery. Because children are very playful, you will need to be careful to help them avoid physical activity for several weeks following surgery. It is important that the ears are not bent during recovery time. Some of the side effects of surgery may include discomfort, headaches, or mild swelling.
Otoplasty surgery offers patients greater self esteem. This is especially important for children who are developing their sense of self. We do not want children to start out as the victim of teasing and bullying. This can set them up for failure or emotional problems later on in life. By helping them regain their self esteem at a young age, we can set our kids up for happiness and success.