Otoplasty, or Ear Reshaping, Gives Children Newfound Confidence

March 30, 2010
Fredric M. Barr

Children born with protruding ears may feel shy or self-conscious about their appearance among friends at school, but there is a solution that can be performed with relative ease. Otoplasty, commonly known as ear reshaping, is usually done for older children and teens with protruding ears, after the age of 6 when most ear growth has occurred.

Children make wonderful candidates for otoplasty because the cartilage in their ears is very pliable, and they have much to gain from the psychological benefits at an early age. Because of these reasons, child otoplasty is very highly recommended.

It is important to know that otoplasty does not affect hearing. Congenital (birth defect) ear loss or deformity is a different issue that may include loss of hearing. Reconstructive surgery for congenital ear deformities is usually performed at an earlier age in multiple stages.

Otoplasty, on the other hand, is a cosmetic surgery that can make the ears in proportion to the size and shape of the face and head. The ideal result is a natural, symmetrical appearance.

In an otoplasty, an incision is placed behind the ear. This procedure can be performed in the office using local anesthesia. However, if ear malposition is found at birth, a custom-made ear reshaping device can be used to avoid any surgery.

Ear reshaping can also be done for older patients as well, often in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures.

To view otoplasty before and after images, click to see the otoplasty before and after gallery.

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