Are You (or Your Child) Ready for Ear Surgery?
Ear surgery or otoplasty is one of the few plastic surgery procedures that is performed on both adults and children. In fact, this procedure may be recommended for younger patients to correct ear deformities or improve the proportion or appearance of the ear before the child is subjected to teasing and bullying by other children. Adults can also opt for the surgery to create balance and proportion to the facial profile. We have a few questions to consider that will help you make this important decision for you or your child.
What is the specific concern?
Otoplasty is typically used to address issues of size, proportion and protrusion of the ears. It can also resolve problems of asymmetry, bringing balance to the facial profile. If you have any of these specific concerns, ear surgery might be the right solution.
How pronounced is the problem?
There are varying degrees of protrusion or prominence. Some are subtle while others are hard to miss. The more pronounced the problem, the more likely you or your child will benefit from ear surgery. For example, individuals with excessively large ears or ears that stick out prominently from the side of the head are the most likely candidate for this procedure.
What are the reasons for the surgery?
A child may want to change the appearance of the ears, especially if the feature has been brought to their attention in a less-than-sensitive way by other children or adults. Talk to your child about surgery to assess his feelings about the procedure. If you are considering the procedure for yourself, consider why you want the procedure. If you want to make your ears less prominent or create a more attractive facial profile, ear surgery might be the right choice for you.
Is your child starting school soon?
In many cases, this procedure is recommended just prior to the child’s start of public school. This will ensure the child is not subject to teasing and bullying by classmates once the school years begin. Since most children are ready for the surgery by about the age of five, when the ear is fully developed, the timing often works out just right. Adults can choose to have the surgery at any time.
Can you take the time or can your child handle the recovery?
Recovery from otoplasty typically takes 2-4 weeks. A garment is worn around the head for the first week or two and then a special headband may be used for another two weeks to keep the ears in the new position while they heal. You will need to take time for your own recovery or make sure your child gets the rest he needs during his recovery.
Otoplasty is a personal decision that should be made between the patient and the plastic surgeon. If you are considering this procedure, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at (713) 790-4500 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Rappaport today.