Can I Fix My Child’s “Dumbo” Ears?

The movie Dumbo has been a classic for over three-quarters of a century, highlighting how cruel the world can be to those who look different. While the little elephant triumphs and uses his prominent ears to his advantage, it is not always such a fairytale ending for children. If your child was born with prominent ears, you may be worried about other children teasing him and impacting his self-confidence. There are cosmetic options available, including otoplasty for children.

What is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty or ear pinning can alter prominent ears that seem too large or stick out too far from the head. This procedure can be used to reshape larger ears or “pin” ears closer to the scalp if they protrude. The goal is to create ears that are more balanced with the rest of the head and face for a harmonious appearance.

When Can Otoplasty Be Performed on Children?

Many parents want to change the appearance of their child’s ears before they begin school. This is sometimes possible. The ears must be developed enough to complete the alteration, which is usually around age five. While it is surgery, there are minimal risks and it can be easier for this procedure to be done at a younger age than waiting until adulthood. The main advantage is for children to avoid the bullying and teasing that can occur during their formative years due to misshapen, large or protruding ears.

Every parent wants what is best for their children. If you are concerned about your child’s ears and how they will impact their self-confidence, consult a facial plastic surgeon that specializes in otoplasty to learn more about this procedure. With more information, you can decide whether or not to fix your child’s “Dumbo” ears.

Posted on behalf of:
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
310 East 14th Street
6th Floor, North Bldg
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 381-6110

Reducing the Appearance of Protruding Ears

Anyone who was born with protruding ears and grew up with this condition has most likely heard the taunts and teasing about their ears from others. Children can be cruel, and adults are not much better, giving those with ear deformities nicknames like Dumbo. While protruding ears generally do not impact the health, they can affect the appearance and self-confidence of the individual. Cosmetic surgery can be an option to reduce the appearance of protruding ears, creating a more desirable balance of the ears and face.

Otoplasty or Ear Pinning Surgery

Depending on the type of ear protrusion, different methods of ear pinning or otoplasty can be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. In some cases, all that is needed is a few stitches to pull the ears closer to the head. Other options include shaving excess cartilage to move the ears closer to the head, or otoplasty to reduce the size or change the shape of the ears.

Many parents choose to have plastic surgery performed on their child with protruding ears to protect them from the cruel taunts of their schoolmates. Once the ears are fully formed and grown, usually by age five, ear pinning or otoplasty can be performed. Children can have this procedure done before they start school, allowing them the opportunity to avoid teasing and focus on enjoying their childhood.

For those who have reached their teens years or adulthood with protruding ears, otoplasty is still an option. If you or your child has protruding ears and you want to explore the options available for changing the appearance of the ears, consult an experienced facial plastic surgeon that specializes in otoplasty at their practice.

Posted on behalf of:
Maurice M. Khosh, MD, FACS
580 Park Avenue, Suite 1BE
New York, NY 10065
212-339-9988

The Benefits of Cosmetic Otoplasty (Ear Reduction Surgery)

Otoplasty is the technical term for a surgical procedure done to rectify any number of deformities of the external ear such as lop ear, protruding earlobes, or prominent ears. Otoplastly may be done to restore or improve hearing function, to reconstruct injured ears, or to correct birth defects like congenital atresia (non-development of an outer ear). When done as a cosmetic procedure, otoplasty most commonly involves reducing the size of the ear or ‘pinning back’ the ears closer to the head to improve appearance. The cartilage in the ear is surgically remodeled to produce the desired effect.

There are a number of benefits to cosmetic otoplasty.

1)      Personal transformation

Firstly, by creating or enhancing facial symmetry, ostoplasty radically improves the way a person looks and feels. It can be a huge self-esteem booster for young children who are teasedand bullied about their ears, and for adults as well. Parents have reported positive behavioral and emotional changes in children subsequent to otoplasty. Indeed, when done at a young age, otoplasty can have a major, positive effect on an individual’s life trajectory, safeguarding them from the effect of years of ridicule and humiliation.  Adults overcome insecurity and gain social confidence when their ears are no longer a psychological stumbling block. Otoplasty gives individuals a chance to be noticed and remembered for their personalities and other positive qualities, rather than for their ears.

2)      It’s medically safe and low-risk

Otoplasty is a safe, commonly-performedoutpatient procedure. Like all surgical procedures, there is some risk of infection. Other risks include scarring, bleeding, loosening of the sutures and blood clots. Generally-speaking however, the benefits of otoplasty far outweigh the risks and most patients experience a high degree of satisfaction.

3)      Quick results

Candidates for otoplasty will be happy to know that the recovery time after the procedure is short. Patients return home the same day of the operation and can typically take off their bandages and resume their regular activities within a week. That, coupled with the immediate results, makes otoplasty a rewarding, well-tolerated surgical procedure.

Post provided by Benjamin Stong MD

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