Does your child have protruding ears that stick out, are significantly large or out of proportion? Otoplasty surgery is an excellent option to reduce the size of prominent ears or permanently reposition protruding ears closer to the head. Its normal to feel hesitant about altering your child’s appearance through surgery — especially when it’s perceived as a cosmetic procedure for vanity.

However, ear pinning surgery is one of the few cosmetic surgeries that can be performed on children and is extremely common. In fact, you could argue that having your child’s ears pinned back is reconstructive surgery, designed to restore a feature to its ‘normal’ appearance. Here are five things you need to know about ear pinning surgery:

EAR PINNING SURGERY CAN PROVIDE PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS FOR YOUR CHILD

Children can be teased or bullied for their prominent ears, which can lead to heightened self-consciousness and negative self-esteem. Ear pinning surgery restores balance and proportion to the ears and face, and these subtle changes make a huge difference to overall facial harmony.  Most children report increased self-confidence after the procedure.

EAR PINNING SURGERY IS BEST PERFORMED WHEN CHILDREN ARE YOUNG

Ear pinning surgery is commonly performed on children between the ages of 5-15, because that’s when their ear cartilage is pliable, making it easier to mould and reshape. It also allows your child to experience the psychological benefits earlier. Dr Zurek is an experienced and qualified ear pining doctor who has helped children as young as five and will consult with you and your child to determine the best age for the procedure while considering the unique physical and psychological factors.

EAR PINNING SURGERY IS SAFE AND VIRTUALLY PAINLESS

Ear pinning surgery is a safe procedure with low risks and can be done over 2 hours. Depending on your child’s specific condition, the surgery can be performed in an overnight stay in hospital under general anaesthetic or as a day procedure at our clinic under local anaesthetic. The procedure is virtually painless, and pain medication is prescribed post-surgery to help you with the after surgery effects.

The procedure consists of making incisions and reshaping the ear cartilage, then sealing the incisions with stitches. Results are permanent and immediately noticeable once dressings are removed after one week. Scars from surgery are either hidden behind the ear or within the natural creases of the ear — so final results always look natural.

RECOVERY IS QUICK HOWEVER THERE IS SOME DOWNTIME

Recovery from ear pinning surgery is relatively quick — most children can return to school within a week. There will be some bruising and swelling, which is usually not visible to others, and will subside after several weeks. However, your child will need to wear bandages for seven days and a headband at night for four weeks. They will also need to avoid contact sport for six weeks.

EAR PINNING SURGERY IS TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR CHILD’S SPECIFIC CONCERNS

No two ears are the same. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to surgery, even if concerns are similar. It’s important for the surgeon to have a comprehensive consultation with you and your child so that he can discuss your unique concerns and recommend the best approach.