Otoplasty is an ear surgery used to correct protruding ears. It can also correct large or otherwise deformed earlobes, “lop ear” (where the ear tip bends down and forward), and “cupped” or “shell ear” (which could be a very tiny ear or an ear without natural creases).
Kids and ears
Otoplasties are particularly common amongst children between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. The primary reasoning is bullying. The fact of the matter is that kids can, unfortunately, be incredibly cruel to one another and prominent features are often “picked on” by children’s peers.
Of course, if a child has no desire to change their ears or they are not finding them to be a social issue, surgery may not ever be considered; however, for many children, bullying due to the appearance of their ears can prove to be quite traumatic.
An otoplasty is a minor procedure which can either simply pin back protruding ears or correct any deformities.
Many parents become conflicted when it comes to considering any kind of cosmetic procedure on their children – and this is understandable. After all, all children are beautiful, and we want our children to accept themselves for who they are. This is a noble view and most certainly deserves merit.
One of the confusing things parents battle with is the incorrect notion that this kind of surgery is for vanity, or purely cosmetic. That brings out a lot of guilty feelings in parents. We understand this.
However, if your child is undergoing bullying, it helps for parents to view the procedure as “reconstructive” surgery versus “cosmetic” surgery. Reconstructive surgery involves returning a feature to a “normal” appearance, whereas cosmetic surgery involves enhancing a “normal” feature.
Considering what is best for your child should be paramount in this decision and this could mean giving the go-ahead or forgoing the procedure. It is an individual matter. There is no “right” decision. Have an open and honest discussion with your child and this will also help you make the decision which is best for your child.