How will I know what part of my ear needs to be fixed?
The surgeon will examine both ears carefully for symmetry, and any cartilage irregularities, missing cartilage folds, or excess cartilage. We will then discuss with you the best approach for correcting the problem. Each patient has specific needs that should be addressed through an individualized surgical plan. Sometimes, even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” both ears are operated on in order to achieve better symmetry.
My child has protruding ears, when should I think about surgery?
For children, we usually recommend the procedure to be performed around age 5. At this time, the ears have almost grown to adult size, and are fully developed. The cartilage is still more pliable than an adult, though, facilitating accurate sculpting. In addition, surgery at a young age allows us to correct the appearance of the ears before the child goes to school where he/she may be self-conscious.
Where is this procedure done?
All pediatric patients will require a general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center. Some adults may be able to undergo the procedure in the office with only a local anesthetic. Either way, you will be able to go home later that day.
What is the recovery time?
At the end of the surgery, you or your child will have a tight headwrap on in order to protect the newly sculpted ears. A version of this will be worn for at least the first week. During the second week, you can return to school/work and wear a protective headband only at night to make sure that the ears aren’t inadvertently traumatized during sleep.
Will there be scars?
Surgery typically involves an incision behind the ear in the area of the natural fold where the ear joins the head. This allows for a well hidden scar which is barely visible.