Incidents of bullying, depression, and health problems have been linked to protruding ears. In an attempt to solve the problem cosmetic surgery procedures have become the go-to solution for many. One study demonstrated that up to 90% of children with prominent ears experience reduced emotional stress after corrective surgery(1).
Other studies show that a child’s self-esteem and social interaction improve after a surgery known as pinning or otoplasty(2).
An otoplasty is a rather short, out-patient procedure which corrects prominent ears. It is common for a child with prominent ears to undergo an otoplasty shortly before beginning school.
Choosing to have corrective surgery on your child’s ears is a decision best made early. At no time in their life will surgery have a larger impact than during childhood. Without being ostracized for their looks, a young person integrates better with society(3), makes friends faster, and may even find they are more eligible for work.
One unemployed young man with protruding ears, grew his hair long to hide his ears. Realizing he was being stereotyped he had his ears pinned (otoplasty). Being able to wear shorter hair with his ears exposed and with a normal ear profile, he was able to get a job.
The investment in corrective surgery (otoplasty) gives a lifetime of benefit. Without corrective surgery in either a child or an adult, a lifetime of bullying, stress and other problems may remain.
The above is my response to recent ABC news articles that commented on cosmetic surgery to reduce bullying of children. (ABC News/Health April 4 & April 14/2011)
For more otoplasty before and after pictures, visit our photo gallery.
1. British Journal for Plastic Surgery, 1992. Feb-Mar, 45(2): 97-100, Bradbury et. al.
2. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(PRS) Journal, Nov. 2008, Volume 122, Issue 5, page 1390-1398.
3. PRS Journal, April 1997, Vol. 99, Issue 10, pages 1184-1191.
4. ABC News, Cosmetic Surgery Answers Bullying.
5. ABC News, Plastic Surgery Stops Bullying.