Got your attention?!
If you’ve read a few of my articles, you may know that I often caution people about one aspect of plastic surgery or another. I’m especially concerned that people decide to move forward with a procedure for all the right reasons—so why on earth would I advocate plastic surgery for kids?
In my experience there is a procedure that can really make a positive difference for a percentage of children: otoplasty. That’s the medical term for the procedure that “pins back” overly prominent ears.
We all know how cruel children can be to each other, especially when it comes to physical appearance. If your son or daughter is overweight, has a disability or an unusual physical feature, you may see firsthand the pain unfortunate comments can cause. Many children with protruding ears are regularly called “Dumbo,” “monkey” or worse. When a sensitive child is frequently taunted, the effects can be long-lasting.
You can consider cosmetic surgery for your child when his or her ears are finished developing—as early as the age of 5. You’ll want to make sure your child understands the procedure and is ready to undergo the anesthesia and recovery process. Another possible plus on the side of acting early is that your insurance may cover the procedure.
On the other hand, you shouldn't push your child to have surgery. If they are not overly bothered by occasional comments and don’t express frustration themselves, they may not be ready to undergo otoplasty. Furthermore, you don’t want your son or daughter to intuit that you believe there’s something wrong with them.
If you are thinking about the procedure for your child, or for yourself, for that matter, you should know it is relatively simple. Your surgeon will reposition the ears closer to the head by removing excess cartilage, placing permanent stitches under the skin or both. Recovery involves wearing bandages for several days and a headband during sleep for a while. Most people experience no problems after the procedure, though normal risks related to anesthesia, infection and so on do apply.