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Pediatric Otoplasty

The surgery known as ear pinning or otoplasty is most often performed on children. Surgeons generally perform pediatric otoplasty when the patient is between 4 and 14 years of age. The goal of a pediatric otoplasty is to correct the size and/or placement of the ears, and since the ears stop growing at around age 4, this age is a good time to start considering pediatric otoplasty if there is a fear that the child will suffer ridicule because of large ears or ears that stick out. Obviously, pediatric otoplasty is not the only solution; many adults have otoplasty performed, but the reason that pediatric otoplasty is more common is that children are given the opportunity to avoid teasing and other hurtful incidents if a pediatric otoplasty corrects the asymmetry or larger size of their ears early on.

Depending upon the age of the patient, a pediatric otoplasty consultation can involve the child, allowing him/her to help determine the desired outcome. Regardless of the age of the patient, discussing pediatric otoplasty with parents and doctors can help calm fears and prepare the child for the surgery and subsequent recovery process. Because pediatric otoplasty involves surgery, the child may need to stay overnight in the hospital, which can be frightening. Very young children undergoing pediatric otoplasty may be placed under general anesthesia for the duration of their surgery. Recovery from a pediatric otoplasty requires a certain amount of cooperation from the child-especially because the ears should not be touched following surgery, to ensure proper healing. Pediatric otoplasty has a very low incidence of side effects, but it's best to explain to your child the risks that exist and how you and your child can help prevent side effects such as infection or delayed healing.