Pediatric ear pinning is a procedure performed by a facial plastic surgeon where we can fold one’s ears so that they don’t stick out. In many countries this is considered a significant enough cause for government insurance to cover the cost of the procedure; however, in the United States, this is considered cosmetic. It is more commonly performed in adults and is still a regularly performed procedure all over the country with 22,698 being performed in 2019.
What to do if your child asks for an ear pinning?
My job is to have a discussion with your child about their goals and expectations. I always stress the importance that having ears that stick out is NOT something that will affect his or her personality, looks, or success. I emphasize that the idea behind the surgery is simply so that your child stops thinking about his or her ears. We let the child know that we’re not “fixing anything” but rather helping your child think about more important things all day!
Body and self-image are very sensitive subjects to discuss with a child and it requires a careful, tacit, and purposeful approach. This is part of my training and this should never be a quick conversation but rather a detailed discussion.
What to do if your child is being bullied about his or her ears?
I would leave this discussion to the parents. My responsibility is to explain how the surgery works and the point of doing it is not to stop a bully but rather to allow your child to be more confident. If your child talks to you about their ears, you can always talk to them about what they think about changing his or her ears. Use before and after the otoplasty gallery to show them examples.
Pediatric ear pinning cost for children includes a surgeon’s fee, an operating room fee, and a possible Anesthesiology fee. If your child cannot sit still for over an hour (generally after age 12), I would recommend that the child undergo the procedure while fully asleep in general anesthesia. This would increase the cost. The national average for the surgery is $4,200. Perhaps, a non-surgical ear pinning is an option also. You can learn more about that here.
What is pediatric otoplasty Recovery like?
Consultation first! We began with a detailed consultation between the parents, child, and I. We will discuss our options, make sure your child is a good candidate and decide if it’s something you both want to proceed with.
While the surgery only takes about an hour, recovery is typically slightly longer. Your child will need to take pain medication 1-3 days after the procedure and wear a headband over the course of the 1st week. The swelling will slowly subside and in just a matter of weeks your child will forget about the procedure; however, that is the point!
If your child approaches you to talk about being bullied about his or her ears or simply a desire to not have big ears this is something that is bothering him or her, and you should listen. I am here to help make this conversation easier and help people of all ages!