you are an adult or a child, ears that aren't set back against
the head properly can be a problem. Children can have
psychological problems from constant teasing by their peers. I
can't tell you the number of children who have sat on my exam
table with teary eyes as they explain how it hurts to be called
Dumbo, jug head or elephant ears. Adults are embarrassed and
often times feel insecure about their appearance. They will go
to any extreme to avoid having their ears seen. The young woman
below taped her ears back everyday so they wouldn't protrude
through her hair, no matter how red and sore they got, to avoid
others knowing her ears protruded.
2 weeks after
2 weeks after
basic problem with protruding ears is that the center cartilage
didn't develop the proper fold in it. Surgery is designed to create
this fold which brings the ear closer to the head. The procedure is
done as an outpatient day surgery, generally with the patient asleep
or sedated, through an incision on the back of the ear. It generally
takes me about 45 to an hour for each ear. My surgeon's fee ranges
from about $1500 to $2800 and you can expect facility and anesthesia
fees, paid to the surgery center separate from my fees, to be
approximately $1200-1600. This is generally considered a cosmetic
surgery and not covered by insurance. The surgeon's fee is paid 10
days in advance of the procedure. Facility and anesthesia fees are
paid to the surgery center on the day of surgery.
4 weeks after
special bandage, sort of like ear muffs, is worn all the time for
about a week and then at night for several weeks. Just like any
other surgery, there's always some swelling and bruising. Patients
do not complain of this particular procedure being particularly
painful although we do provide adequate pain medication just in
is the best time to do this? Well, as an adult you're never too old.
I've helped patients of all ages with this problem. My preference
with children is about four or five years old, before they start
school. It's nice to avoid that whole issue of being teased rather
then hoping they'll not be scarred and forget about it.
are very rare, usually temporary and not really much different than
any other surgery. The things that are unique to this procedure are
that the repair might not hold which would mean it would have to be
done over. The ears are not exactly symmetrical before surgery and
won't be afterwards. I've never seen any problems with healing but
it could happen and I suppose it's possible a patient may not like
the shape. Ears are never exactly the same size, shape, etc., before
surgery and minor differences generally persist after also.
All in all, I have found this to be a procedure well received
and the patients, parents and even the grandparents are delighted.
The biggest problem I usually see is that most children have this
done in the summer when they're out of school, and then they can't
swim, play baseball, etc., for a few weeks.