Earlobes with deviations from the normal structure or position may cause negative social attention. In such cases it is advisable to use surgical intervention to correct the shape and position of earlobes in order to remove the source of dissatisfaction with their appearance.
Protruding earlobes are often visible shortly after birth, and can be unilateral or bilateral, symmetrical or asymmetrical. The most common causes of protruding ears are inadequate development of earlobe creases and thickening of cartilage or skin, which results in increased angle of the earlobe. A normal angle between an earlobe and the head is about 15 to 30 degrees, thus protruding ears are characterized by an angle greater than 30 degrees.
Parents are often in doubt at what age the child can be subjected to this type of surgery. It is considered that the best time for surgical correction is just before the child starts elementary school, so he/she can join the new setting without noticeable anomaly. The fact that the deformation associated with protruding ears can be eliminated as early as preschool age is good both for parents and children:this noticeable anomaly might become more complex later in school age, but it can be removed on time.
Otoplasty is a surgical cosmetic procedure which solves the problem of protruding ears in a very successful and permanent way, both in case of children and adults. The operation is performed under local anesthesia and takes about one hour. The incisions are placed behind the earlobes and are completely undetectable.
The patient may resume normal activities 7 days after operation when the immobilization bandages are removed, and sutures which remain in place for the next 7 days are completely invisible.