While many plastic surgeries are performed on middle aged or older people for anti-aging purposes, there are a few exceptions to the rule.
Otoplasty (ear reshaping surgery) is most often performed on young children before they start school.
This is because ear cartilage matures at a very young age, and many parents try to head off bullying by having otoplastyperformed to reduce very large or protruding ears.
Some of the difficulties of this surgery, however, involve making sure children are prepared for the surgery and dealing with postoperative care and pain management. If you’re considering ear surgery for your young child, here are some ways to help minimize discomfort and maximize the chances of a good outcome during recovery.
Principles for Recovery
Following the procedure, your child’s ears will be covered with a soft bandage. This is to keep the ears protected and in the proper position. Your child will be given pain medication or you will be instructed to give a mild painkiller such as Tylenol in case of discomfort.
Though your child should be able to return to school in a week or so, play should be restricted to calmer activities that will not jostle or injure the sensitive ears. Your child should be instructed to play quietly and will not be able to swim or participate in activities where a hat or helmet is required for several weeks.
One of your main responsibilities in helping your child recover from otoplasty surgery is being vigilant about his or her activities and discouraging any behavior that might prolong healing or lead to a poor outcome.
Behavior to discourage may include touching the ears, taking off dressings, side sleeping, and rough play. If you notice any abnormalities including excessive pain or swelling, fever, bleeding, or anything else out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to call your plastic surgeon.
Your child may not understand the process fully, but it is very important to explain what is going on and what he or she needs to do after surgery. This helps to expedite healing time and makes the entire process is easier on both parent and child.
Be patient with your child during the healing process. Young children in particular may have more difficulty managing discomfort and may have trouble limiting activity. Be as comforting and supportive as possible to meet your child’s needs during the difficult recovery period.
Choose an Experienced Surgeon
You want only the best for your child, so it makes sense to do extensive research on otoplasty surgeons before you make your decision. Always choose a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has extensive experience working with children and an excellent safety and outcome record.
You don’t want to choose a surgeon you or your child feels ill at ease with! If you’d like to speak with an expert, consider double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey of Revesse in Toronto. Dr. Mounsey is very experienced in performing otoplasty on a variety of patients of different ages. Call 416.438.2499to set up your consultation.