Bullying and teasing from prominent ears starts around age 5 to 7 when children become aware of individual differences. Lifelong bullying can impact on self-esteem significant long-term consequences. The ideal time for an otoplasty is when the child is aware of their ears, may have experienced teasing and indicate an eagerness to have to problem corrected. They will then ‘opt-in’ to the surgical correction and cooperation is much easier. Correction later in life is possible, though becomes technically more difficult after age 30 when cartilage may start to harden and calcify.
The surgical technique utilizes a single scar hidden behind the ear. From there, natural fold and valleys of the ear can be re-defined with permanent techniques of cartilage incision, scoring and suturing. The technique takes 90 minutes and recovery in a specialized head dressing is worn for a week. The procedure can be timed to coincide with school holidays and weekends.
Satisfaction is high with this procedure and patients have immediate improvement in self esteem and reduced social anxiety.