Being called elephant ears at a young age is not a pleasant experience. Although many children will find themselves teased by peers about their physical appearance at times, excessive bullying can lead to stress and in severe cases, depression.
What problems can Otoplasty address?
Otoplasty, or cosmetic surgery of the ears, is one of the few plastic surgery procedures that can be safely performed as early as five to six years old. By addressing the problem at a young age, children are better able to develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem, avoiding unnecessary ridicule.
Otoplasty can address a variety of problems from ear pinning (bringing the ears closer in towards the head), size reduction, correction of defects, and the reshaping of cartilage. The most common and strictly performed cosmetic procedure is ear pinning. This not only prevents the ears from protruding too far outwards, but it gives the illusion that the ear is smaller in size.
The benefit of having this procedure performed at a young age is that the cartilage is more flexible, allowing for a greater degree of manipulation. As you age, the cartilage becomes stiffer, and it becomes harder to achieve the desired outcome.
What happens during the procedure?
During the ear pinning procedure, children are usually placed under general anaesthesia. An incision is made at the fold between the outside of the ear and the head. Cartilage and skin will be removed or reshaped, balancing out any asymmetries and creating a more harmonious appearance. Otoplasty can last from two to five hours, depending on the complexity of the individual case.
How long is recovery?
Recovery from surgery might be uncomfortable for some children. Two to three weeks will be the minimum amount of time a child will need before returning to normal activities. It is best to wait to have the surgery when there is ample time for recovery, such as spring break or summer vacation. That way there will also be little or no scrutiny from peers over your child’s new appearance.
After the procedure at a non-surgical ear pinning clinic Sydney the ears must remain dressed for a few days. They will be tender and extremely sensitive. Sleeping positions should be adjusted to accommodate the ears. No pressure should be placed on them for up to a week. Some surgeons suggest using a special headband to stabilise the ears and prevent excessive movement.
Although the recovery process might be difficult, the risks involved are minimal. Swelling, bruising, and bleeding are the most common, as is true with most surgeries. Only in a few, rare and extreme cases have there been more serious problems such as hematoma. Another possible risk would include stitches coming lose and the ear returning to its original appearance. This, however, is easily corrected by re-stitching.
Since the scar is tucked minimal and tucked behind the ear fold, most people will not be able to determine if your child had surgery. The results are usually so natural that most people will never notice. Otoplasty is one of the few cosmetic surgery procedures that when done at an early age can have numerous psychological benefits and very few risks.