Many children are bullied today, often for physical characteristics like unusually large or protruding ears. While bullying isn’t a new concept, the addition of social media like Facebook and Instagram take the problem to a whole new level. Children who are bullied in school tend to have low self-esteem which could impact their social interaction and classroom participation.
The good news is that many children who are bullied because of protruding ears have plastic surgery options available. Ear surgery, also known as Otoplasty, can be performed at a relatively young age to boost self-esteem before school years get into full swing.
What is Otoplasty?
Otoplasty is cosmetic surgery to correct the shape or positioning of the ears. The procedure can be performed on adults or children over the age of five, once the ears have fully developed. For younger children, surgery can take place before the school years begin, to avoid bullying and the accompanying self-esteem issues.
“The sooner the better for corrective ear surgery,” Dr. Burke Robinson states. “Age five is ideal since the cartilage is still soft, pliable and yet nearly its adult size. Also, it’s better to correct the defect before psychological damage from peer ridicule occurs.” Dr. Robinson performs Otoplasty procedures on all ages of patients at his Alpharetta and Atlanta offices.
Otoplasty can address the following concerns:
- Protruding ears that stick out from the sides of the head
- “Lop” ears, where the top of the ear folds over
- Ear deformities due to birth defects or injury
How is it Done?
Otoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical center. When the patient is a child, general anesthesia is usually the medication of choice. Incisions are placed behind the ear, where they will not be seen after the procedure. Through the incision, the surgeon can remove excess cartilage and skin to give the ears a more balanced size and appearance.
Once the ear is properly sculpted, it is held in place with sutures until healing is complete. A headband is continually worn day and night the first-week postop, and just at night the remainder of the month to keep the ears in proper position and protect them during sleep time. Recovery after Otoplasty is usually relatively quick with only mild discomfort, with most children returning to school in about one week and other activities, including sports, within two weeks.
If you are concerned about the shape or position of your child’s ears, or you are unhappy with your own ears, contact Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery today. We are happy to schedule a private consultation for you with Dr. Robinson to learn more about your Otoplasty options. Call today at 770-667-3090.