Either due to deformity or injury, many people, especially children, have plastic surgery performed on their ears. Although these procedures do not involve or impact the hearing, they can greatly affect a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
Types of Ear Surgery
Otoplasty, or “pinning back” the ears, is often performed when a person’s ears stick out more than 4/5 of an inch from their head. It is an outpatient procedure that takes about two hours and causes only minimal discomfort. This procedure can be performed on children as young as 5 or 6.
Correcting Ear Deformities
Other ear deformities can also be corrected surgically. A “lop ear” deformity can be corrected by creating a fold and using stitches to prop the ear up. Infants born without an opening in their middle ear can have the opening surgically created, and the outer ear formed to look like the other ear. In addition, people who are born without an ear can have an artificial one attached for cosmetic reasons.
Minor injuries, such as torn earlobes can also be surgically corrected with a simple procedure performed in a doctor’s office.
Reasons for Ear Surgery
Most ear surgeries are performed to correct a deformity present at birth, such as protruding ears, “lop ears,” the absence of an opening to the middle ear, or the absence of the entire ear. Although these surgeries do not impact hearing ability, they can make a profound effect on the overall self-confidence and well-being of the patient.