School can often not be a place for the meek, especially if the person has ears that project away from their head, or if the ears are overly large. Because they are so visible, ears like this are prime targets for teasing. This kind of negative interplay day after day can really take a toll on a child’s developing self-esteem.
But it’s not as if the problem can’t be easily fixed with a relatively straightforward surgery known as otoplasty. Otoplasty, the clinical term for ear surgery, can be performed by Dr. Hetzler to reshape the ears or to move them closer to the head. This isn’t a bad time to think about the surgery, either, as with the holiday school break upcoming, recovery will be easy.
What are the problems with the ears?
Ear surgery can surely change a child’s life, but the same can hold true to adults. If you’ve had to deal with slights when you were young, but your family decided against surgery, there’s no reason you can’t take care of your ears now. Dr. Hetzler can reshape overly large or misshapen ears. He can move them closer to the head if they protrude too much. And he can balance ears that aren’t proportional. The goal is to bring the ears into proportion with the rest of the face and head.
What is otoplasty like?
In most cases, Dr. Hetzler performs his otoplasty procedure in our offices, usually under local anesthesia, although general anesthesia may be used in more involved procedures. What would be more involved? Rebuilding or a dramatic reshaping of the ears would need more time and could merit general anesthesia. The procedure can take up to two hours. Incisions are made on the backside of the ear and alterations are made to the ear cartilage to reshape the ear. If the ears are protruding, Dr. Hetzler simply removes some cartilage on the back of the ears and brings them closer to the head.
After otoplasty, patients wear a protective splint for two to three days and a headband for three weeks to allow the ears to heal. There will be pain and some swelling for the first two days, but that should pass. This isn’t an area that swells a great deal. Normal activities can begin in around one week.
If your child has protruding or “attention grabbing” ears, now is the time to address them. Call Dr. Hetzler at 732-219-0447 and let’s set up a consultation.