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PROMINENT EAR CORRECTION - all photos courtesy Dr. S. Narinesingh
The Physical Problem
Prominent ears, also known as protruding ears or bat ears, are an inherited problem affecting 1-2% of the population. It may affect one or both ears and results from a lack (or malformation) of ear cartilage during ear development before birth.
The Psychological Problem
The psychological distress caused by prominent ears can be considerable. The appearance of the ears can lead to a poor quality of life, low self-esteem, avoidance of social functions and poor performance in school. Teasing at school causes both short-term unhappiness and a potential long-term impact on perception of self-image and self-worth. Children and adults alike with ears that stick out may experience a damaged psyche secondary to outside ridicule and self-criticism.
© 2012 Caribbean Aesthetic and Laser Institute
Before 6 months of age, the ear cartilage is very soft and can be moulded using bandaging and taping or splints. After 6 months, surgical correction is the only option.
Pinnaplasty or otoplasty can be carried out in the child from about 5 years of age - there is a balance to strike between doing it before the child goes to school (with possible teasing or bullying) and allowing enough time for the child to understand the problem and therefore cope better with the surgery. The operation can also be carried out on adult patients. We at CALI see many children and adults with this problem. There are different surgical techniques available. We will be able to recommend the best option after an assessment is done during a consultation with Dr. Narinesingh. The scar is always placed at the back of the ear and is therefore not visible.