​​Is My Child Too Young for Otoplasty?

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Approximately 50 percent of children between six and 10 are bullied due to physical anomalies, such as large or prominent ears. If this is the case for your little one, as a concerned parent, you may be eager to get your child’s ears corrected as soon as possible.

Close-up of a young girl with a large ears sticking out of her hair.

What Is Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)?

If you have a child with prominent or misshapen ears, otoplasty may be the answer. Otoplasty — or ear pinning surgery — is an outpatient operation that modifies protruding ears by removing extra cartilage and folding back the ear to produce a more natural form. 

Recovery from otoplasty takes about a week.

Is Otoplasty Safe for My Child?

Otoplasty, like all surgery procedures, is performed under sedation in an operating room or surgery center. If your child is old enough, it can also be performed under local anesthesia in the office. The operation begins with an incision on the back of the ear, where the cartilage is manipulated and repositioned into the desired form. 

 The incision is then closed using absorbable sutures. 

What Are the Benefits of My Child Undergoing Otoplasty When They Are Young?

Most of the time, otoplasty on young children results in long-term benefits. Children who may have been teased about their prominent ears can experience an improvement in their self-esteem.

Studies have shown that children with better confidence and self-esteem tend to do better in school.

What Are the Risks for Otoplasty When My Child Is Young?

Otoplasty, like any other surgery, has some degree of risk. Some of the risks involved include infections, bleeding, and discomfort, to name a few. Scars may be visible for years (although they are well-hidden behind the ears). 

Most of these risks can be reduced or eliminated with an experienced surgeon.

What Are the Benefits of My Child Undergoing Otoplasty When They Are Older?

If your child has otoplasty surgery when they are older, they have more time to evaluate their options. 

While otoplasty can be safely done on a child as young as five, it is important that the child understands what the process entails and be on board with it. This level of emotional maturity is sometimes difficult with very young children.

Additionally, older children can learn how to take care of their ears (and avoid playing with or irritating the incisions). They are also more likely to cooperate with post-operative restrictions. Younger children may not understand why they must wear a headband or sleep on the side after surgery.

Interested in Otoplasty for Your Child?

Our medical staff is prepared and ready to assist your child through otoplasty surgery. To find out more, contact us now at 925-891-4135 or fill out our online form to book a consultation with Dr. Kim.