Many people feel self-conscious or embarrassed if their ears are large, protrude or are out of proportion with the rest of the face.
A woman who wants to wear her hair back and off her face feels self-conscious because her ears stick out. Similarly, a man with short or thinning hair may be uncomfortable if his ears protrude. A child with prominent ears is sometimes teased at school and can lose confidence and self esteem at a young age.
The operation for pinning back prominent ears is called otoplasty. It is a straightforward and highly successful procedure for people of all ages. Because the ear is about 85-90% fully grown by the time the child is 4 or 5, otoplasty is commonly performed on children before they start school.
Otoplasty can recreate the natural fold of the ear, set back a prominent “cup” of the ear or reduce a large or protruding earlobe. After otoplasty the ears should never stick to the side of the head, but should sit neatly in a natural position.
Otoplasty is usually performed through inconspicuous incisions behind the ear. There is minimal pain associated with this procedure. Patients usually wear a dressing around the head for 1 to 2 weeks following surgery and are encouraged to wear a headband at home for 1 to 2 months following surgery.
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