An over-prominence / protrusion of the ears, can be discouraging under any set of circumstances, but when those affected are children, the effects can be truly heartbreaking. It is well-known that kids can be cruel, and it won’t take long for your child to notice that they are “different from the other kids”. This can lead to feelings of sadness & alienation, and the psychological implications can be grave, if the ostracism persists for a long period of time. However, there is good news to be had – things don’t have to be the way they used to be!
Today, cosmetic surgery is both safe and effective when performed on adults. However, the same is true for children, provided adequate care is taken. This is particularly valid when speaking of otoplasty. For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, otoplasty is the medical term for a type of cosmetic ear surgery, which is designed to make your ears smaller and / or less noticeable. After discussing all your options with your physician, it might be decided that otoplasty is the best course for your child. If this is the case, they will be placed under the care of Dr. Steven Dayan for the duration of their treatment. Dr. Dayan is a Chicago-based plastic surgeon, and a board-certified expert in advanced facial plastic and laser surgery.
You may be curious to know whether or not your child is able or ready to receive an otoplasty. Make no mistake, the boost to their confidence and self-image after the operation is complete will be all the proof you need. However, caution is always appropriate, especially when it concerns your children. So, a bit of an explanation might be a welcome thing. The short answer is, yes, your child is ready and able to undergo this procedure, provided certain conditions are met.
If they are an otherwise healthy child, as long as they are six years of age or older, and severely affected by their prominent ears; the otoplasty may be indicated for them. There are, however, some age-specific issues with which you will want to familiarize yourself. Again, we recognize your desire for information, and we believe that forewarned is forearmed. As such, here is a brief overview of age-related topics concerning your child’s otoplasty: If your child is between the ages of six and fourteen, they will be placed under general anesthesia. If, however, they are fourteen or older, your child may be given a local anesthetic and / or sedation. The choice of anesthetic, as with all other facets of your child’s operation, can be discussed at length with Dr. Dayan and the anesthesiologist beforehand.
The entire operation shouldn’t take longer than 1.5 hours, and once your child’s incisions have been closed, the operation is complete. After a short time in the recovery room, your child may be discharged. At this point, you may want to explain the concept of “recovery time” to your child. Additionally, it is always advisable to reassure them that no one will see their incisions. The surgeons will have made the incisions themselves behind your child’s ears, and thus, out of view. The stitches used to close the incisions will go behind the ears as well, and should dissolve in about a week.
It is normal for your child to experience some soreness, swelling, and other forms of discomfort after their surgery. Any post-operative discomfort can be easily managed through medication. It is important to note that, as with all surgical procedures, there is a chance that scarring will occur. It is important that, if such scarring does happen, that you make sure your child knows that he or she can expect that it won’t be visible – the scars, if any, will be behind the ears, and thus, out of public view. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your physician, Dr. Dayan, or another competent medical professional that you trust.
Your child should be ready to return to school (or, if they are older, work / chores), and to resume your normal routine, in approximately one week. However, it is important that you don’t allow them to do anything that may cause their ears harm or injury. Such activity should be avoided for approximately three months, but, as always, consult your physician with any questions or concerns.
Otoplasty Recovery Care
We are continuously dedicated to giving your patients the attention they deserve during their period of recovery. Our otoplasty patients will receive a otoplasty recovery care package as part of their experience with SDMD. It is important that we make your otoplasty recovery time as comfortable as possible. For more information about otoplasty recovery, head over to our recovery care page.
Contact Steven H. Dayan, M.D about ear surgery (otoplasty).