Surgery for protruding ears could help 10-year-old and eliminate teasing by classmates
Dear Dr. Man, my wife and I disagree on a serious topic and we’d like you to weigh in on the topic. Our 10-year old daughter has ears that stick out. When she was younger, everyone thought it was cute. Now that she’s getting older, she’s getting teased at school. I want my daughter to have the surgery. I think it will make her feel better about herself. My wife, on the other hand, thinks we should wait. What do you think? What does this surgery entail?
Answer: Ear surgery, otherwise known as otoplasty, is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large
ears. For many people, especially school-age children, large, protruding ears can be an embarrassment and the source of teasing from classmates. Luckily, there are procedures available to help. Many children over the age of four have this surgery. Because of the emotional aspect of having large, protruding ears, it is usually better to have the surgery earlier rather than later.
Otoplasty is usually performed with IV sedation. The procedure, which takes about 2-3 hours, requires the surgeon to remove skin and cartilage from the back of the ear. Sutures are placed behind the ear and over the repaired cartilage. Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance.
Immediately after surgery, the patient’s head is wrapped to promote the best molding and healing. Within a few days, the dressings and stitches are either removed or will dissolve in about a week. Scars are well hidden. Patients are usually back to school or work in a week.
In the initial meeting, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your daughter’s condition and recommend the most effective technique. He or she will also give you specific instructions on how to prepare your daughter for surgery. Most patients, young and old alike, are very pleased with the results of ear surgery.
It’s up to your family to make the decision as to whether your daughter should have the surgery now or later. However, if you, your wife, and your daughter have discussed the procedure and expectations with the surgeon before the operation, chances are you all will be quite pleased with the results.
Dr. Daniel Man is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has dedicated his life’s work to helping people look younger and improve their appearance through cosmetic surgery. He is a noted author, artist, inventor and educator. Dr. Man has been featured on major television networks, as well as national and local magazines and newspapers for his work as both a plastic surgeon and an artist. Dr. Man has a private practice in Boca Raton.