Otoplasty or Ear Reduction
Otoplasty, or ear reduction and correction, is a surgery that allows changing the position, shape, size and proportion of the ear.
Prominent ears, or commonly known as "fanned ears", are a relatively usual problem, with an incidence in the Caucasian population of about 5%. It consists essentially of the disproportion between one or two of the cartilage folds that define our ear flag. Although not associated with any hearing problem, the emotional stress and psychological trauma that this situation sometimes causes are important, especially concerning children.
What is the ideal time to correct this condition?
The ideal timing should conciliate the sufficient maturity of the ear tag and the time of starting school. Since the ear is practically developed at 6-7 years of age, the correction can be made at this time.
Is the correction always surgical?
Non-surgical treatment of prominent ears is unsuccessful unless applied at a very early stage of child development. Only when the cartilage is very malleable and still responds to the maternal hormones that are still in circulation, is it possible to act in a non-invasive way and achieve a good result. In this case, the modeling of the cartilaginous structure of the neonatal ear should begin at the 3rd day of life and may continue until the 6th month. Once this time has passed, non-surgical techniques are then not enough.
When is the ear fully formed?
The ear is completely formed at birth, but only at 3 years of age does it reach about 85% of its adult size. The width of the ear reaches its final size at the age of 7 in boys and at the age of 6 in girls. As for length, it only reaches adult size at the age of 12 in boys and at the age of 13 in girls. The cartilage gets harder as we get older, so the surgical techniques of "winged" correction are different in children and adults.
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