Nicknamed after the protagonist in the Disney film, "Dumbo" ears, aka protruding or prominent ears, are often a source of ridicule in children. Protruding ears are caused by several underlying problems, which can be corrected by surgery. In newborns, ear molding may be performed; however, most patients present later on, either after they've begun to suffer ridicule at school or even after they've become adults.
Ear pinning, setback otoplasty, can correct the protrusion for aesthetic improvement. It can be performed in children ages 6 or older, after ears are almost fully grown. Dr. Lisa Hwang understands that the decision to undergo surgery may be an important yet difficult one, especially for your child. Her priority is to ensure that your child truly wants and is ready for surgery. If you yourself have been bothered by protruding ears, and you're just learning about this procedure, come in for a consultation to discuss exactly what can be done for you!
Ear pinning, or setback otoplasty, is performed in a surgery center under general anesthesia or sedation. Generally, surgery takes 2 to 3 hours, although it may take longer if more extensive work is necessary. Following surgery, the head is wrapped in a compressive bandage to promote healing of the ear in the desired position. Scars are hidden in the back of the ear within the fold and are inconspicuous. Patients may go home the same day.
You may expect mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which should resolve within 2 weeks. The swelling may take up to 4 weeks to completely resolve. Patients should sleep with their heads elevated on several pillows to minimize swelling. Arnica tablets may further expedite healing. After a few days, the bandage will be replaced with a lighter headband, which the patient should wear for 6 weeks. Patients are encouraged to walk around and resume daily activities; however, they should avoid strenuous exercise or any contact sports for 6 weeks.
Risks & Complications.
Risks are minimal, but may include bleeding, hematoma, infection, prolonged swelling, asymmetry, and recurrence.