Children and Otoplasty
Studies have found that 15 to 25 percent of students in the U.S. are bullied. Unfortunately, children with medical conditions that affect their appearance are also at higher risk of verbal bullying where kids make derogatory comments and call kids bad names. Dr. Drake Vincent from Vincent Surgical Arts in Cottonwood Heights, Utah wants to address the issue of protruding ears in children and raise awareness of the severe psychological trauma these kids may be facing as a result of verbal bullying.
It is well documented that children with protruding ears are easy targets from intentional teasing by classmates and unintentional attention from adults. The solution can be found in a common surgical procedure called Otoplasty, which is the only procedure to permanently pin back ears.
“Otoplasty is a unique procedure that requires specialized training, but it is very rewarding because it makes a difference in the life of a child,” said Dr. Vincent. “It has actually been shown in studies that teasing by peers can affect a child’s self-esteem for the rest of their life. Many parents are unaware of the severe psychological trauma that may result from such harassment, but this procedure can help eliminate the issue of protruding ears in children ages five years and older.”
Otoplasty is performed by making incisions in the back of the ears to expose the ear cartilage. It may be necessary to remodel or remove some cartilage before the ear is repositioned. Sutures are then used to maintain this correction. The exterior skin is sutured and the ears bandaged for several days to protect them in their new position. Sutures are generally removed within a few days, unless absorbable sutures are used.
Dr. Vincent can perform this procedure in his office or the Vincent Surgical Arts out-patient surgical center. Although general anesthesia may be recommended for young children, many patients also do well with IV sedation and local anesthesia. The improvement from surgery is readily apparent, although the final result will not be evident for several weeks due to swelling and other natural changes that are a result of healing. Recovery is usually quick, and most pediatric patients are back to school in one to two days.
Vincent Surgical Arts is located in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Conveniently located in the Greater Salt Lake City area.