When the ears are large, protruding (lop ears), or asymmetric, it can distract from the overall appearance of the face. In school aged children it can also lead to embarrassment and significant ridicule by peers. There are minimally invasive otoplasty techniques available to improve the contours of the ear using sutures (stitches) buried under the skin. These permanent stitches create long lasting improvement in shape and symmetry.
My son has protruding ears and I took him to a surgeon that proposed shaving the cartilage to reshape the ears. Do you use this technique?
Some surgeons use the shaving technique when performing otoplasty and can get excellent results, but I believe there is a risk of creating visible step-offs as the edges of the shaved or incised cartilage protrudes into the skin. I prefer to bend the cartilage with permanent sutures (stitches) buried under the skin. I believe this otoplasty technique can more safely create a natural contour.
What is the appropriate age for getting the ears corrected?
The otoplasty surgery can be done once the ears have reached full, adult size. This normally occurs by age 5 or 6.
Dear Dr. Swartout. Thank you so much for all of your help, compassion, patience, and expertise! We are so grateful!