Otoplasty - Ear Correction Surgery for Your Child – Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital
Ass. Prof. Dr. Thomas Benkö
Medical Field: Pediatric Surgery
Prof. Benkö, how often do protruding ears occur in newborn children?
5% of all newborns are born with protruding ears or auricular malformations on one or both sides. They are primarily a cosmetic problem, in most cases, hearing is not impaired.
The point at which children begin to feel impaired varies greatly. Teasing can start as early as kindergarten and have a negative impact on the child's psychological development. Studies have shown a significant improvement in the quality of life after otoplasty also in children, so surgical correction can also be justified at a young age.
At what age should an operation be performed?
There are no clear recommendations regarding age. Depending on the age of the child, different therapy methods are possible. In newborns, where the cartilage tissue of the ear is still very soft, abehan ear splint can be applied. Later, both minimally invasive and open surgical methods are used.
However, since certain behaviors must be observed after the operation, many parents decide to have the operation performed between the ages of 4 and 6. A good time for surgical repair may be a year before school starts, or a year before changing schools.
Is an examination of the ear by the surgeon required before the operation?
Surgery always requires careful planning. This is especially the case with cosmetic surgeries. Therefore, an investigation is essential and the submission of a photo alone is not sufficient for planning.
How is the operation performed?
The procedure can be minimally invasive or open. Depending on the individual characteristics, the techniques in question are discussed in detail in a conversation. We primarily opt for the minimally invasive technique, provided the circumstances permit. In this case, the cartilage is only incised and the shape adjusted using a special suturing technique.
Since we can evaluate the defect very precisely and correct it during the operation, this method is the gentlest and therefore the most promising in the future. Apart from that, no more stressful, pressing head bandages are required after this operation, only a forehead bandage.
How long does the operation take and what should be considered afterwards?
The operation takes between 40 and 60 minutes in total for each ear. However, the decisive factor is not the duration of the operation, but the optimal result for the patient.
After the operation, the patient has to wear a bandage, more precisely a compression forehead bandage, for a few weeks. How long this bandage has to be worn depends on the surgical method chosen.
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