Not all babies are born perfect. Deformities can occur on the inside or the outside of the body. One of the most common external congenital deformities involves the ears. In most cases, this includes prominent ears or ears that stick out from the head. While this may not be a health threat to your child, it can bring some very unwanted consequences in terms of aesthetics. Most parents seek a pediatric plastic surgeon for ear deformity reconstruction before the child is emotionally damaged by peer ridicule at school.
How Does Ear Deformity Happen?
Ear deformities are often inherited. In fact, reports indicate that nearly 60% of affected individuals have a family history of protruding ears. Ears can appear prominent or deformed when the antihelix (outer edge of the ear) is underdeveloped and does not fold in towards the head or when the concha is overdeveloped and causes the ears to stick out further. In either case, this is a physical deformity that typically does not impact hearing but can cause emotional and behavior problems due to teasing or being called “dumbo ears”.
When to Consider Otoplasty
Correcting ear deformity is best performed at an early stage. However, the ears must be fully grown before reconstructive ear surgery can be successful. Therefore, it is advised to treat prominent ears when your child is around the age of 5 or 6.
Pediatric Otoplasty is a safe and highly effective procedure that is typically performed under general anesthesia to ensure the child is kept calm and still. Incisions are made inconspicuously behind the ears. The cartilage is reshaped and the ears are positioned closer to the head. Sutures are used to close the incision. Your child will go home with a dressing on his or her ears. Pain medication may be prescribed to relieve the temporary discomfort your child may experience. Total recovery can last 10-15 days depending on each unique case. While any type of surgery on your child can be frightening, you can trust that this is a commonly performed plastic surgery that can transform their appearance and improve their self-esteem for life!
Want to learn more about pediatric ear plastic surgery in Reno? Call Avance Plastic Surgery to schedule your consult.