This procedure is not about perfection but rather improvement. Even after the surgery, the ears will not match in perfect symmetry. The goal is to make corrections that improve the quality of your life.
The best candidates for this procedure are children between the ages of four and 14. Many surgeries are done to help children feel more normal with their peers and not be ridiculed at school and social environment.
Any adults can also be a candidate for an ear pinning depending on their circumstances and what they need to get done.
An ear pinning sets the ears back closer to the head or reduces the size of large ears. This procedure, also known as otoplasty, can take care of more than problems dealing with protruding ears. For example, ear pinning can help with:
Ears that appear to stick out or are overly large can be helped by ear surgery.
Like any surgery, there are some minor risks involved with a small percentage of patients developing a blood clot on the ear. It can dissolve naturally or be drawn out with a needle.
Some patients may develop an infection in the cartilage causing scar tissue to form. This issue is usually treated with antibiotics.
There are many reasons why getting an ear pinning surgery for your child will help them now and in the future. If a child has abnormally small or large ears, they can be teased or even bullied at school. The imbalance with ear placement can affect their self-confidence. After surgery, their self-esteem will greatly improve. Otoplasty reshapes the ear to give it a more natural appearance.
An incision is made in the back of the ear so cartilage can be sculpted or folded. Stitches are used to close the incision and help maintain the new shape.
During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and fears about getting this procedure done for your child. Dr. Bartholomew will take the time to listen to you and be aware of your child's feelings about protruding ears. It is important that your child wants to make the change and have this surgery. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ears but ready for a surgery are more cooperative during the entire process.
Dr. Bartholomew will evaluate your child's condition and recommend the most effective technique. He will then give you, and your child, specific instructions to follow to get ready for the surgery.
An ear pinning is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or in a doctor's surgical facility but can also be done as an inpatient procedure in a hospital.
If your child is young, Dr. Bartholomew may recommend general anesthesia so she can sleep through the operation. For older children or adults, a local anesthesia combined with a sedative may be used meaning you or your child will be awake but relaxed.
An ear pinning in Portland takes up to three hours with no complications. It depends on which technique will be used.
Dr. Bartholomew will make a small incision in the back of the ear. This will expose the ear cartilage where he can sculpt and bend the cartilage toward the head. Non-removable stitches can be used to maintain the new shape of the ear. Dr. Bartholomew may clear out a larger piece of cartilage for a more natural-looking fold.
Sometimes an incision will be made in the back of the ear to eliminate skin, use stitches to fold the cartilage back on itself and reshape the ear without removing cartilage.
An ear pinning usually leaves a small scar in the back of the ear that fades with time.
Creating a fold in the cartilage makes the ear lie flatter against the head and appear more normal.
Expect your child to feel minor discomfort, especially ear ache, for a few days after the surgery. Dr. Bartholomew can prescribe medication for the pain.
Most patients go home within a few hours of surgery but it is okay to stay overnight at the hospital until the effects of general anesthesia wears off.
Dr. Bartholomew may wrap your child’s head in a bandage to build up the best molding and healing. They will be replaced by a lighter head dressing within a few days. Stitches are either removed or dissolve in one week.
Make sure to watch your child and avoid any activity in which the ear might be bent. They can go back to school after a week of having an ear pinning in Portland. Once back at school, your child needs to be careful when involved in playground activities. Ask your child's teacher to keep an eye on her for a few weeks.