Children with large, prominent, or awkwardly shaped ears often bear the brunt of taunts and bullying from their peers, especially in their early school years. Ears that have become a focal point of a child’s face can be a source of embarrassment for children, leaving their caring parents to wonder if there is any remedy for the situation.
The good news is that ear pinning surgery, or otoplasty, is a relatively straightforward procedure that can reshape ears, making them more symmetrical and creating greater harmony among the other facial features.
What Is Otoplasty?
Ear reshaping is a relatively straightforward surgical procedure that specifically addresses the size, position, and shape of the ears. Dr. Jeffrey Schmidt recommends otoplasty surgery for anyone with misshapen or asymmetrical ears, particularly children and teenagers.
Normally, qualified cosmetic surgeons do not suggest aesthetic surgery for children. However, otoplasty is one of the only cosmetic surgeries Dr. Schmidt regularly performs on younger patients because it is a minimally invasive procedure that carries very little risk, but can significantly improve a child’s self-esteem and quality of life.
What Is the Best Age for Otoplasty Surgery?
Any correction to a child’s ears should wait until their ears are at or near their adult size. Fortunately, the ears mature early. By the time a child reaches their fifth birthday, their ears will normally have grown to be approximately 80 percent of their adult size, which means Dr. Schmidt can perform this surgery before your child even starts elementary school. This early timing may be ideal if you are worried that your child’s protruding or misshapen ears will make them more prone to mockery from classmates, and you want to spare them from going through that.
However, there is no age limit on when parents can choose to have this procedure done for their children. For example, if your child has been the target of bullying or harassment throughout elementary school, you may wish to get an otoplasty the summer before they enter middle school.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?
Ear pinning surgery can help people address the following concerns:
- Ears that conspicuously stick out from the sides of the head
- Ears that fold over on top (also known as lop ears)
- Ears that are two different sizes or shapes
- Ears that are overly large in proportion to other facial features
- Ears that need repair due to injury or birth defects
- Schmidt can also do surgery for the earlobes, often to repair large piercing holes from gauges or tears. However, for obvious reasons, this type of corrective ear surgery is more common for adults, rather than younger patients.
The Ear Reshaping Procedure
Completing an otoplasty involves changing the size, shape, and position of the ears in keeping with the patient’s facial proportions. Dr. Schmidt places permanent internal sutures to ensure the ears stay in their improved positions.
To keep scarring as discreet and undetectable as possible, Dr. Schmidt will carefully hide incisions either behind the ears or inside the folds of the ears, depending on the patient’s anatomy. Dr. Schmidt can also complete an ear pinning procedure without incisions in cases that do not require cartilage removal.
Is Your Child Ready for Otoplasty?
The first factor in determining if your child is ready for otoplasty is whether they fully understand what the procedure entails. Your child should also be old enough to follow instructions, including those involved in the recovery and aftercare process.
Ear pinning requires healing time afterward, though the recovery period is relatively short. During the first week, patients must wear a postoperative support dressing to hold their ears in their new shape. There is minimal discomfort associated with ear pinning recovery, and most children can return to school and other typical activities after about two weeks.
Otoplasty for Children in Denver, CO
Any parent wants what’s best for their children, and that includes shielding them from getting teased about the shape or size of their ears. Ear pinning is a simple, quick procedure that can give your child the self-confidence they need to enjoy their school years more. Dr. Schmidt is happy to meet with you and your child in person to determine if otoplasty surgery is your best choice.
As one of the most talented cosmetic surgeons in the greater Denver area, Dr. Schmidt uses his extensive knowledge of facial anatomy to provide his patients with outstanding otoplasty results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.