The playground is not always the fun place it should be. This can be especially true if a child has an unusual condition. Having protruding ears would be high on any teasing target list, and this teasing can really impact the development of a child’s self-esteem. Hearing taunts such as “satellite ears” or “Dumbo” can make the whole school experience something a kid wants to avoid.
But none of this is necessary. Dr. Fedele can move overly protruding ears closer to the head in a procedure known as otoplasty. This surgery is not complicated and the recovery is easy. More important, it can head off teasing before it ever gets started.
How old should my child be before ear pinning surgery?
The ears need to be fully formed before having otoplasty. Fortunately, in most cases the ears are finished growing around age 4. Dr. Fedele performs most of these procedures on children from ages 4 to 14, but he advises doing it earlier than later because it limits any attention in school. Adults can also have the surgery.
Otoplasty is not a complicated surgery, especially when the goal is to simply “pin” the ears. In other cases some reshaping may be required, which can be more involved. In pinning procedures, surgery begins with incisions made behind the ears. From those incisions, a small amount of cartilage is removed or reshaped. Dr. Fedele never uses stitches alone, as he feels that the correction doesn’t look natural. He believes the cartilage always needs to be at least “scored.” This allows it to sit down naturally. With that cartilage removed, the remaining cartilage is sutured into place, pulling the ears closer to the head. Because the incisions are made behind the ears, they are virtually invisible.
Who can have otoplasty
Obviously, children with protruding ears are the usual candidates for otoplasty. But if you’re an adult who still isn’t pleased with the projection of your ears, there’s no age limit on the surgery. Plus, other people have natural ear defects and opt for reconstructive ear surgery.
For the first few days, the ears may throb somewhat, but this can be minimized by keeping the head elevated and using pain medication. Most children can return to school in about a week, so otoplasty with Dr. Fedele is a good procedure during certain school breaks or during the summertime.
Interested in correcting your child’s ears? Call us at 216-464-1616 and set up a consultation.