Have you ever stopped to think about the complexity of the ears? Take a mirror and look at them carefully. One by one, because this is one of the few things in the human being that cannot be compared at a glance: they are oriented flat and 180º apart.
Think a little bit about that little friend from elementary school. Yes, the one with the ears (I hope it wasn’t you!). You can’t imagine how much fun he had. With his classmates… and even by the teachers with their complicit smile.
The first serious scientific work I did in my life dealt precisely with “protruding ears” (cruel name). It was many years ago, at the beginning of my residency in Plastic Surgery. It was the time when the boys wore manes… and they visited us when they had to do their military service, with a very serious urgency: their ears! Their hair would be cut off and that terrible image would appear before the world…
The study was carried out on 10 young people. And the conclusions were devastating: eight were introverted, two were violent. And all 10 were unstable, insecure. Years of social aggression had taken their toll on their developing personalities.
We concluded that protruding ears are a serious personal problem:
– They are a serious personal problem: nothing can be done to modify them (I’ve seen contact glue, bands, night gizmos…pathetic).
– They are a serious social problem: we are not evolving, the accomplice smile is still there.
– They should be treated early because of the great affectation they produce:
– From the age of 7 years.
– If the child asks for it (we do not treat parents, but children: it is necessary to ask them).
– They must be operated by an expert: surgical errors have a bad solution. Cartilage is unforgiving.
– The results with current techniques are excellent and without visible marks. We do it in adults with local anesthesia and in children with light sedation.
The concern for the shape of the ears is not new. Its correction was already practiced in India, in the 5th century B.C., by the Ayurvedic physician Sushruta. Since then, it has evolved to become one of the most satisfactory treatments in cosmetic surgery because its results not only treat an image but fundamentally its deepest reflection: school delays, insecurities, anxiety, etc. We have proven this in our 38 years of otoplasty practice.