Plastic Surgery Q&A: What Can I do about my child's prominent ears? Will they go away?
Prominent ears is a condition where the ears are not pushed back enough against the scalp and protrude. This is a very common problem we see in younger people seeking plastic surgery. The straight-forward surgery (otoplasty — sometimes referred to as pin-back surgery) involves making an incision behind the ear and suturing the cartilage of the ear back so that it is not protruding from the skull.
You didn't mention how old your child is, but what many people do not know, is that when a child is born with prominent ears (the condition runs in families!) there is actually a window of opportunity to treat the condition without surgery.
When children are born, the hormones circulating in their bloodstream make their cartilage quite pliable. This allows ear deformities of all types, including prominent ears, to be treated non-surgically. There is usually about a 3 to 6 month window of opportunity where the cartilage is still very moldable. After that time the cartilage is resistant to molding.
The process involves keeping the ears back and wearing a special head-covering that molds the ears into their new shape. For other types of ear deformities, custom molds can be made to correct them.
If you are a parent with a child with prominent ears who is still a newborn, take advantage of the time window to treat this problem before it becomes irreversible and requires surgery for correction.
It is too common for the plastic surgeon to meet a young patient who is ready for surgery only to be told by the parent "if I had only known when my child was born..."
Feel free to take a look at more before and after photos of prominent ear surgery here.
Gil & Zol Kryger are board-certified plastic surgeons, and founders of theKryger Institute of Plastic Surgery in Thousand Oaks, California offering a full range of both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
Posted on Tue, August 6, 2013
by Gil Kryger, M.D. filed under