What is Otoplasty? - The Problem
Otoplasty, Pinback or Reduction Surgery can help Protruding Ears. Ears stick out from the head and when they excessively protrude, the deformity can be very disturbing. Otoplasty surgery is the name for a number of operations to resculpt and reshape the ear.
A prominent ear that sticks out too much is often the focus of ridicule. People stare at the deformity. Kids tease and can be cruel at times. Victims of unkind nicknames such as “Dumbo” or “Mickey Mouse” are prime candidates for this operation. However, the surgery can be done at any age. Although hair styles can cover the ears, this is not always convenient nor desired. Either a single ear or both ears may be involved.
Ear Surgery Timing - How Old Do I Have To Be?
Otoplasty ear surgery is best planned before the socialization process and after major ear growth (around four to five years old). This permits less social trauma, softer ears to sculpt, and full (or almost full) ear growth before treatment. Most otoplasty surgery for children is done between the ages of four and 14. A consultation before this age can be a valuable learning experience for the parents and the child old enough to be asking questions. Adults can easily have this surgery, but most tell me they wished they had the corrections at an earlier age to avoid the teasing and emotional scars from their "ugly" ears.
Ear protrusion is a function of:
- the size of the cup (concha cartilage)
- the angle the concha on the head
- the angle of the ear cartilage fold (scapha)
- enlarged earlobe
- Large ears (macrotia) are a less common problem.
- a combination of the above
Ears can be deformed after cancer surgery or trauma. Some ears are deformed by previous otoplasty. Revision otoplasty may be an option for problems after prior ear surgery.