Ototplasty, more commonly called ear pinning surgery in layman’s terms, is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the prominence of the ears. In a minimally invasive surgery, the ears can first be reduced in size through the removal of cartilage, then repositioned and sutured into place. In certain cases, the earlobes may also be surgically altered. Patients who have stretched or torn their earlobes through the use of large, heavy jewelry, or have elongated lobes due to genetics or age can benefit from the removal of skin through this procedure. In addition to altering the cartilage and skin of the ear, the doctor may also be able to remove unwanted piercing holes.
Why Undergo Ear Pinning Surgery?
Large ears can cause a person to feel self-conscious of their looks. The ears may project away from the head, causing the head to look especially small while the ears appear large. Because the ears are located just beyond the focal point of the entire body – the face – they are often visible. People may wear their hair longer, or use hats or headbands to cover their large ears. After undergoing otoplasty, a person will no longer feel negatively about this body part.
Age of Surgical Candidates
Some parents make the decision to have their children go through otoplasty at a young age. Older children recall cruel nicknames such as “Dumbo” the elephant or “Dopey” of the Seven Dwarves, mocking their once beloved cartoon characters and making them feel bad about their appearance. Younger children may not remember the taunts at a later age, or may be too young to be teased about their looks by peers. The doctor will be able to determine a healthy age for each young patient to undergo otoplasty, and the surgery has been performed on those as young as three.
Not all cosmetic ear surgery patients are young. Some opt to receive the surgery during their teen, adult, or even senior years. Doctors often hear how people have been unhappy with the appearance of their ears for some time, and finally decided to see a specialist to alter how they look.
The Otoplasty Controversy – Ethical Considerations
Many parents or guardians hope to spare the feelings of a child, and therefore make the decision for them to have ear pinning surgery. Because this is a permanent body modification, and is considered an elective surgery, otoplasty is a controversial topic among some. Everyone has different beauty ideals as looks are subjective, and typically individuals have a say in what they look like. Whether one modifies their looks with a haircut or color, cosmetics, facial hair grooming and in other ways, it is a unique notion for someone else to choose how another looks.
While some may not agree with the decision to send a child into an elective surgery, the choice is made with the young person’s best interest in mind. With reports about children literally being bullied to death, this generation of parents is hypersensitive about protecting their little ones. If a guardian can eliminate the source of potential bullying, they feel strongly about doing so.
Aside from the ridicule a child may face, their adolescent and adult years can also bring them discomfort. In the same way a caretaker saves money for a child’s college education, they have other concerns for the boy or girl’s lifetime. Health, financial, and emotional needs are all necessities to meet, and otoplasty can play a role in the mental health of a youth.
Those with different viewpoints or perhaps people who do not yet have children of their own, may not understand the need to provide for children through a cosmetic surgery. Perhaps the prominent ears are a genetic trait of a family, in which many members have suffered through peer abuse. In other scenarios, the child may have other additional physical irregularities and the correction of the ears will restore some normalcy to his or her looks.
The Otoplasty Consultation
During the consultation for ear pinning surgery, the doctor will address the patient’s ears externally, and may review any existing medical records. If there are any concerns about the child’s age, they can be discussed at this time. While the doctor’s job is to perform aesthetic corrections to the ears that suit each patient’s individual needs, health is the primary concern.
The proposed changes will be discussed in detail so the parent fully understands what will take place during the scheduled surgery. The child will be explained the procedure in a more simplified way so he or she is not frightened to undergo otoplasty. It is during this first office visit that both the parent and child have the opportunity to ask the doctor questions about the surgery, recovery, and final results of otoplasty.
Elective Surgery is Just That – Elective
Regardless of whether or not everyone agrees that children should undergo a cosmetic surgery, the beauty (pun intended!) of aesthetic procedures is that they are elective. Parents interested in sparing their children from being teased about their looks can make the decision to schedule them for an otoplasty. Those parents who feel it is not necessary can allow that child to make their own decisions regarding their appearance.
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein
A practitioner in facial plastics in Hudson Valley for 14 plus years, Dr. Rubinstein is known for his ability to enmesh science and art in every treatment plan. Aside from aesthetic procedures such as otoplasty, chin augmentation, and neck lift surgery, the doctor is also an expert in surgeries like septoplasty to improve the functionality of the nose. Dr. Rubinstein is a dual-board certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Contact the doctor at his practice Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Hudson Valley, New York at (845) 863-1772, or through the office Consult Form.
Each patient will enjoy viewing their potential surgical or cosmetic procedure results through the Canfield VECTRA 3D imaging system. The state-of-the-art software shows the patient multiple views of his or her face before and after aesthetic alterations.