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

Common Ear Plastic Surgery Procedures

Many people are unhappy with the look and shape of their ears.  Maybe the size doesn’t suit their face.  Maybe they protrude from their head more than they would like.  Maybe their ear has had some trauma to change the way it naturally is supposed to be. While ears are not one of the first features someone notices about a person, they do frame your face and guide decisions about hairstyles and accessories, and they aid in the way we hear. People who are unhappy with the look of their ears feel just as self conscious as anyone else who  is considering plastic surgery. There are many procedures for ear surgery offered by plastic surgeons.

  • Ear Pinning or Ostoplasty. Ostoplasty is the reshaping of the ear.  If the ear is large or shaped differently, the cartilage can be shaved and pinned to prevent ears from protruding.
  • Earlobe Keyloid Treatment. If scarring after an ear piercing continues to grow, it can change the shape of the lobe and even overtake the ear.  Some treatments can reshape the lobe to a more desirable size and shape.
  • Earlobe Repair Surgery. An earlobe can be repaired after an injury like a tear related to a piercing.
  • Cauliflower Ear Treatment. Trauma to the ear from athletics or accident may cause the ear to become misshapen. Treatment is important for ear function as well as aesthetics.

There are many avenues that can be taken to improve the look of the ear. Remember, the exterior of the ear is important to its function and should not be ignored as vanity. Be sure to do research to find an experienced and reputable plastic surgeon in your area.

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

Is Ear Revision Surgery Right for You?

Your ears are vital to your sense of hearing, but they can also affect your appearance. Anyone who was born with large or protruding ears knows that these appendages can draw attention. While some may embrace their unique ears, others may wish for smaller or flatter ears that are less noticeable or provide better function. Otoplasty, or ear revision surgery, can change the appearance and function of your ears for an improved quality of life.

Aesthetic Ear Surgery

In some cases, ear revision surgery is sought completely for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes. Those with larger, pronounced ears can choose to have a reduction through otoplasty. Others with deformed or protruding ears may want to have the shape changed or their ears pinned back for a flatter appearance. In most cases, otoplasty for cosmetic purposes is minimally invasive and without noticeable scarring. Incisions can be placed behind the ear, hiding any sign of surgery.

Functional Ear Surgery

For others, ear surgery can improve their hearing and is much more than a cosmetic procedure. Ear revisions through surgery can remove obstructions, allowing for clearer hearing for the patient. If an ear deformity has caused hearing loss, revision surgery can provide both functional and cosmetic benefits for the patient.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Ear revision surgery requires experience and expertise in plastic surgery and an artistic eye for detail. Ear reconstruction or revision is a specialty at which not all plastic surgeons excel. If you decide that ear revision surgery is the right choice for you, choose a qualified plastic surgeon that specializes in otoplasty and has years of experience with proven results transforming large, protruding or dysfunctional ears.

Posted on behalf of:
Sanaz Harirchian, M.D.
9230 Katy Fwy Suite 600
Houston, TX 77055