If you’ve ever been the target of a cruel “big ear” joke, you’ll understand the importance of ear surgery to correct prominent ears immediately.  If you’ve not been the butt of the joke, maybe you recall taunting someone during childhood.  Either way, we all know how damaging name-calling can be to one’s psychological health and development.

Otoplasty is one of the simplest surgeries with the most positive effect on self-esteem. I recently came across a decade-old study of otoplasty on young children.

The study was conducted more than 10 years ago and the results were presented at

The Royal College of Surgeons in London, December 2004.

According to the study, questionnaires were distributed to “children aged 5–16 (n = 101) who were on the hospital records having undergone otoplasty between 1999 and 2003, investigating social experiences, and experience of surgery.” (www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1748681507004780)

What I find most interesting and I am certain anyone with prominent ears will too, are the results. “This study found: 97% reported an increase in happiness; 92% reported an increase in self-confidence; 79% noted improved social experience; 100% reported bullying reduced or stopped.”

When I see those with prominent ears finally breathe a sigh of relief post surgery, that is when I feel the greatest sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as a plastic surgeon.

If you have suffered or are the parent of a child suffering as a result of ears that stick out more than others ears do, consider corrective otoplasty surgery. From the age of around 6 years old, when a child’s ears are 80% or more fully developed, this simple surgery can be performed. The results are permanent. So are the psychological benefits.

Surgical Procedure

Otoplasty surgery is done on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. Adults my opt for general or local anesthesia. An incision is made in the crease behind the ear. A section of skin is removed and some soft tissue may also be removed. Several stitches are made to close the gap. Ear surgery results in very minimal scarring, which is hidden in the fold behind the ear.

The surgery takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. The head is wrapped in gauze for several days and pain medication is prescribed though may not be necessary. Bruising will fade about two weeks after surgery.

Surgeon Selection

Select your surgeon based on their experience with Otoplasty. Schedule consultations with several reputable plastic surgeons and get references. This is especially important if the surgery is for a child. Find a young person who has had the surgery so they can talk about it with someone their own age.

Whether for an adult or child, the results of ear surgery can be positively life changing.

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