Your child is your most precious gift and beautiful on the inside as well as the inside. You only want the best for your little one. You want your kids to be active, healthy, successful and doors of opportunities to open. You want your child to have confidence and excellent self-esteem. There is one concern that you are afraid will have an impact on your child’s self-image. It’s your little one’s ears. They stick out at the side of your child’s head in a way that is quite pronounced. You have waited since infancy to see if this condition would change in any way. Unfortunately, it is an issue that won’t go away and you can’t make any changes on your own.
Even though your child’s hair has grown, it is still not enough to hide protruding ears. You want to do something to help your child. You are considering ear pinning, a form of otoplasty, that is performed by a plastic surgeon. You know this is a serious step, but you feel that it will have a positive impact on your child’s life. You don’t want your little one to go through life feeling self-conscious about large ears that are poking out in such a way that everyone will notice them. You know what peer pressure is like and how much children want to fit in with peers, especially when they get older. You want to find a solution now, but you don’t know the appropriate age for this common procedure.
What is the Youngest Age that Ear Pinning Can be Performed?
You’ve decided that the sooner otoplasty, or ear surgery that is cosmetic is performed, the better. Ear pinning can be performed as early as the age of four, although some surgeons recommend waiting until the age of six to ensure that the ears have fully developed. In most cases, doctors will advise to have the procedure performed before children are of school age. However, it can be performed at any time after the age of four if your child has already passed that milestone. Ear pinning is a simple procedure that will make your child’s ears press flat against his or her head in the way that is expected. Once it is over, you will not have to worry anymore about your little one’s ears sticking out too far.
What Happens During an Ear Pinning Procedure?
You can expect that this procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis for your child. For young children, general anesthesia is recommended. Older patients may be able to use local anesthesia and sedation. Typically, an incision will be made in your child’s ears in such a way that scarring will not be noticeable. Behind the ear is one of the most common sites for an incision. If there is too much cartilage or an excess amount of tissue that is making your child’s ears protrude from the side of his or her head, your child’s plastic surgeon can trim away any excess and reshape the cartilage. Once the cartilage has been molded into the desired shape and the ears lay flat against your child’s head, the incisions will be closed with stitches.
How to Prepare Your Child for Ear Pinning
Your child should wear something that is comfortable on the day of surgery. Pajamas are appropriate if that is what your little one would like to wear. No food should be eaten before the procedure. Talk with your child’s plastic surgeon about scheduling early in the morning to make it easier on your child. Small sips of water are the most that your child may have before undergoing general anesthesia. Your child will be closely monitored by a surgical team while your plastic surgeon is performing the ear pinning surgery. It is a relatively minor procedure and will take a short amount of time. Once the procedure is over, your child will be sent to recovery where you will be able to wait with your child until release is possible.
Recovery for Otoplasty at Home
Once your child has been given clearance from their Otoplasty by the plastic surgeon to be released, you can take your little one home. Now the healing time begins. Your child will have bandages to protect his or her ears. Your plastic surgeon will give you instructions about how often to change the bandages. You can expect to apply an antibiotic ointment to protect the incisions from infection. You will also be given instructions for cleaning the incisions. Your child will need to sleep in a slightly elevated position. You can prop up pillows to make your little one comfortable. It is important to rest in the week that follows surgery. Your child will not be able to do anything that is extremely active at this time.
Expect to go back to the plastic surgeon for a follow-up appointment one week after the procedure. At this point, your child’s ears will be checked for any signs of infection or any other concerns. Stitches can be removed if this is necessary. As long as there are no complications, your child should be able to return to normal activities. The final results will be noticeable for everyone. Any swelling will have gone down, allowing your child to enjoy ears that are flat against his or her head. Your child will have a boost of confidence every time he or she looks at the results of ear pinning surgery.
If you are serious about ear pinning for your child, you need to seek advice from an expert in cosmetic procedures involving the ears. Call Dr. Anurag Agarwal, MD to find out if your child is a good candidate for this procedure. Dr. Agarwal of the Aesthetic Surgery Center is a board certified plastic surgeon with years of experience in performing otoplasty, surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic treatments in Naples, FL.