Protruding Ears & Otoplasty
Doctor Gene Moor has completed a four year residency in Ear Nose and Throat, also named ENT or Otolaryngology residency at UAB, and has also completed a two year fellowship in Plastic Surgery at the University of Kentucky. He has extensive experience in ear surgeries.
Prominent or protruding ears are considered a congenital ear deformity. It may be bilateral or unilateral. It may affect one ear only, or may affect both ears. It usually is the result of an over development or lack of development or both, of the ear cartilage.
At the ages of 5 or 6 children become aware of their ears ‘sticking out,’ and they may feel that their ears look different from the ears of their peers. To avoid potential teasing, and unkind words by their peers, one should consider surgical correction at ages 5 or 6, ideally around the first grade. Surgery can be done after the ear is 95% developed. For all practical purposes, the ear is almost fully developed by age 6 which would be the optimal time for corrective surgical intervention taking into account the potential for psychological damage.
Many times the correction of this congenital defect in children is covered by insurance. Adult insurance coverage may be possible, but only in extreme cases. The insurance company assumes that any psychological damage has already occurred by the time you are an adult, or you may not have needed the correction in the first place.
The treatment goal is to place the involved ear close to the head so that the ears do not appear to protrude as much. This is usually done on an outpatient basis with the incision behind the ear in the natural ear fold. After surgery, a dressing is applied for five to seven days, followed by a tennis head band to be worn 24 hours a day, for one week. Thereafter atennis head band is applied only at night for one month.