A few months ago, we published a post about Understanding Otoplasty, aka “Ear Pinning.” This common procedure is popular for children and adults, which raises the question, what is the ideal age for otoplasty?
Play it By Ear
Like most cosmetic procedures, there is no single answer to the question of the ideal age for an otoplasty. However, it’s best to wait until at least age five in order to give the ears a chance to completely develop to their full size. That said, some parents have scheduled an otoplasty for children as young as three years old, typically in response to birth defects.
Regardless of age, an otoplasty is a very common procedure designed to correct ears that seem to protrude too far from the head or look larger than expected or desired.
The decision of when to schedule an otoplasty, with respect to children, generally concerns awareness and whether there is potential for the child to experience bullying due to the appearance of their ears. Research suggests that “There may be significant psychosocial benefit to early intervention, particularly in light of changing norms for interaction with peers at ages considerably earlier than what had previously been thought of as the ‘school age.’”
Before a patient undergoes an otoplasty, they will first consult with their plastic surgeon to determine best steps forward. At this time, the surgeon will evaluate which surgical technique is needed and whether incisions will be made along the backs of the ears or on the inner creases.
The otoplasty involves making incisions to remove excess cartilage and skin before re-securing the tissue with stitches. In most cases, the procedure takes about two hours, though exact times depend on individual patients.
Following the completion of an otoplasty, the ears are wrapped in bandages to keep them clean and protected for a few days as they heal. At the post-surgery follow-up, the surgeon will remove these bandages. Depending on how well the ears are healing, the patient will also be advised about when they can return to their normal routine.
Considering an otoplasty? Contact our office to schedule your consultation and get your questions answered.