Otoplasty, or ear-pinning surgery, is becoming increasingly popular among parents of children and teens to give their ears a more natural look and boost self-esteem.
Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? We all know this funny old camp song. But for school-age kids and teenagers, large and protruding ears can be a magnet for ridicule and humiliation.
For parents of kids with “funny” ears, waiting for a miracle isn’t an option. By the time a child hits the first grade, his or her ears are more or less the shape and size they’re going to be from then on. But kids can be so cruel – what’s a parent to do?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery’s 2008 Procedural Survey, the answer is: surgery.
Otoplasty, which is the surgical reshaping of the ear, is becoming increasingly popular among parents of young children and teenagers as a means of giving their children’s ears a more natural and proportional look. Some 28 percent of all otoplasties in the United States are performed on patient from 13 to 19 years old according to the A-A-C-S.
In times past, the idea of parents getting plastic surgery for their kids’ ears would have seemed faintly ridiculous. Children with disproportionate ears were expected to suck it up and endure the ridicule and nicknames from their peers. Today, however, cosmetic surgery is seen as a perfectly acceptable option for adults, and increasingly for children and teenagers.
AACS officials stress that cosmetic surgery isn’t the best solution for all youths with large or protruding ears – in some cases, sucking it up is the way to go, after all – but that a trend toward otoplasty for younger patients appears to be gaining strength.
Parents of kids who are experiencing serious mental and emotional stress due to the appearance of their ears should discuss corrective surgery with a board-certified plastic surgeon.