Ear plastic surgery, or otoplasty, is a type of cosmetic ear surgery that corrects prominent or misshaped ears, sometimes called ‘bat ears'. Ears are an obvious feature of the face and head that others notice when they look at us, and ears that stick out can be the butt of many cruel jokes. Children with protruding ears are particularly prone to bullying.
Many parents opt for their child to undergo ear correction surgery at an early age. Most cosmetic plastic surgery operations of this type are performed on young people under fourteen, but it is advisable to wait until the child is at least five years old before considering this option. By this time the ears are their full size and the cartilage is properly formed. Results of such cosmetic plastic surgery are generally very good with minimal scarring, and an improvement in the shape of the ears is visible within two weeks, although healing may continue for several months afterwards.
Deciding on the right time to have ear correction surgery is a very personal choice. After seeing the benefits of otoplasty, many adults wish they had made the decision years before. Parents often wait until their child starts to be aware that their ears are causing a problem before considering such cosmetic plastic surgery. If the child understands why the operation is being performed, he or she is likely to be more compliant with the rules that need to be followed afterwards. Most ear plastic surgery is done without problems, but a head bandage will need to be worn for up to two weeks after the operation, and a tennis band for a further four weeks after that - to keep the ears in place as they heal.
Older children and adults are also usually offered otoplasty under local, rather than general, anaesthetic reducing the overall surgical risks.
This ear plastic surgery information guide attempts to answer your questions and provide more detail about cosmetic ear surgery in general. If you have any further specific questions please refer to your doctor or surgeon.