Otoplasty: Cosmetic Ear Surgery

So, “ears” looking at you. This segment is on otoplasty, or pin-back otoplasty. Pin-back otoplasty is for prominent ears, dumbo ears, elephant ears. Kids get really ridiculed when they're young about this, so we like to do it before they get into school where kids can be cruel, like do it when they're about five years old.

The ear is very supple, it's easier to operate on, and we have less complications, less problems. The complication rate should be very low with this operation, whether it's done in youngsters or adults. Adults come in, and I do them frequently. In adults, we do them under local anesthesia. In children, we put them to sleep. We don't want the trauma of surgery or any pain involved, so it's just easier for them.

Of course, we have an anesthesiologist, and the parents can even be with the child in the room, we don't mind. It's an incision behind the ear. They're absorbable sutures, they just wash away. We put a few sutures in that bend the ear back to make it look more natural. The child has a head wrap or a bandage on for about two or three days, and then we have them wear a headband at night for a few weeks after that.

It's very gratifying. I've seen young girls suddenly start wearing ponytails that they've never worn before. I had one young lady, who I did when she was in 6th grade, years ago, a very introverted little girl. The next year, she was class president. So, it really is a nice way to improve little people's self esteem. It's a very nice operation.

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