Kids can be cruel, of that there can be no doubt. Especially when faced with an obvious difference in one of their numbers. That’s why the playground can be a very tough environment for any child with prominent or protruding ears. Otoplasty—also known as ‘pinning back’—is a relatively simple surgical procedure we use to set the ears into a more common position. While ‘pinning’ sounds a bit gruesome, it doesn’t actually involve any pins. The term comes from the Latin word ‘pinna’, which is the medical term for the outer ear.
We can perform this operation at any age. So, don’t feel pressured. However, parents commonly bring their children to us at around five to six years of age to coincide with the time they start school, avoiding any teasing from the start.
The answer depends on whether we use a local or general anaesthetic and the patient’s overall health. Otoplasty can usually be performed in our rooms or as a day case, though younger children may stay in hospital overnight.
As with any surgery, bruising and bleeding are possible. However, we would expect no major complications. Occasionally, an ear that has been set back will protrude once more, requiring a second procedure. Don’t worry, though: your surgeon will explain any possible complications during your consultation and we’re always here to support your family through recovery.
Head bandages need to be worn for one week after surgery, often a headband is worn for the following two weeks. Usually, our patients return to work or school after one week. But this does vary from person to person. We recommend you avoid excessive exercise for approximately three weeks.