If you’re old enough, you may remember a TV show called “Kids Can Say the Darndest Things.” That is true in a funny way, but it can also be true in a not so funny way when those words are intended as teasing another child.
That can be the case when a child has ears that protrude away from the head to an excessive degree. At school, the child may hear things such as “Dumbo ears” or “satellite dish ears.” Kids can be pretty ruthless, and such taunts can impact a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
But there’s no need for that to ever happen. Otoplasty is the clinical name for ear surgery, and our three board-certified plastic surgeons can perform the procedure at our three Miami Plastic Surgery® locations.
Otoplasty is simply the term for ear surgery. When the goal is to bring protruding ears closer to the head, you may have heard the procedure called “ear pinning surgery.” Otoplasty may also be used to repair torn earlobes and other issues with the ears. Mainly, these are ear pinning procedures, however.
How Is Otoplasty Done?
Our Miami Plastic Surgery® surgeons begin these procedures by making a small incision behind the ear in the crease where the ear meets the head. They then sculpt, shape, or bend the cartilage into a new position to bring the ear closer to the head. If only one ear is protruding, we still may adjust the other ear to achieve symmetry between the two ears. Ear pinning usually only takes around one hour.
If the patient has other ear surgery needs, such as earlobe repair, different methods will be employed.
What Age Can My Child Have Otoplasty?
It’s best to have this surgery done before your child enters full-time school. The only requirement to have ear surgery is that the ears must have finished growing. Believe it or not, in humans our ears are fully grown at age four. That means you can have otoplasty done and the child’s ear brought closer to the head before he or she heads off to first grade.
Of course, adults who didn’t have otoplasty as children can also have this surgery should they choose to address their ears now.