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Otoplasty Ear Surgery for Children in NYC

What Is Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is cosmetic ear surgery that is done to change the look of the ears. It may be performed to correct ears that are too big, oddly shaped, or stick out. Dr. Romo specializes in otoplasty for children and also performs the otoplasty surgery for adult patients as well in NYC.

How Can Otoplasty Help My Child?

Otoplasty ear surgery for children may be used to:

  • Change ear shape and protrusion, allowing for a more natural appearance
  • Make one or both ears more proportionate to the size and shape of the head and face
  • Pinback the ears
  • Reduce the size of the ears or make them more symmetrical
  • Help the child gain confidence and self-esteem in his or her facial appearance

How Can Otoplasty Benefit My Child?

teasing and taunting, especially in elementary school and, middle school, can really impact a child’s developing self-image and self-confidence. Ear surgery to bring protruding ears closer to the head can effectively stop any teasing before it ever gets started. Since human ears are mostly finished growing by the age of 4, having ear surgery with Dr. Romo can be done before your child even enters school.

If your child doesn’t really understand the impact of their protruding ears yet and you may be wondering if it’s

At What Age Can My Child Have Ear Pinning Surgery?

The only requirement for this surgery is that the ears are fully grown. Believe it or not, human ears are usually finished growing at age four. This is a good time to have otoplasty with Dr. Romo because the surgery can be completed before the child begins school, where the teasing could begin.

Close up picture of boy before otoplasty procedure
close picture of boy after receiving otoplasty procedure

Is My Child A Candidate For Otoplasty?

Otoplasty is an option for children who are at least 5 or 6 years old, as reconstructive ear surgery is usually not advised until a patient’s ears have finished developing. Otoplasty will not in any way affect your child’s hearing.

What To Expect During My Child’s Otoplasty Procedure

With otoplasty for children, Dr. Romo designed a unique technique that uses a skin flap behind the ear, which allows for complete exposure of the ear cartilage and a more predictable result when suturing back the cartilage. This procedure avoids a common problem with traditional otoplasty that results in over-pinning, resulting in subsequent flaring of the ears called “telephone deformity.”

Here’s an overview of what you can expect during your child’s otoplasty:

  • The procedure will last from 2‒3 hours, depending on the complexity
  • Your child will be given an anesthetic so he or she will not feel any pain during the procedure
  • Results can be seen immediately
  • A light dressing is put in place after the surgery, which usually remains for one day
  • After surgery, the patient will be given a ROMO-GUARDTM to protect the ears
  • Recovery and potential downtime can range from 10‒14 days
  • The surgery is done in the fold of skin behind the ear, so there is no visible scar

What Is Recovery Like After Otoplasty?

Your child’s head will be wrapped in special heavily padded cotton bandages, referred to as “fluff bandages,” after surgery. After a few days, these will be replaced with surgical dressings that need to be worn for the remainder of the first week. At that time, stitches will be removed. Due to the blood pressure in the area, there will be some throbbing for a couple of days, but that can be managed with pain medication. This isn’t as prevalent in children as it is with adults. Dr. Romo provides a Romo-Guard™ to protect the repaired ear or ears, but you’ll still want to set up your child’s bed to help them avoid sleeping on the affected ear or ears for about two weeks. Inadvertently rolling onto the operated ear can cause quite a jolt of pain. Children can return to school after about 7-10 days.

What Results Can Ear Surgery Achieve?

Dr. Romo has been performing otoplasty on children for over a quarter-century. He has developed new surgical techniques and other ways to help children have a better experience with the procedure. As for the results, they are often dramatic. You’ve seen your child’s ears this way since their earliest days, and you may have become somewhat inured to their appearance. Bringing the ears closer to the head can make a significant difference in the child’s appearance.

Doctor examining little boy's ears, isolated on white background

How Long Will The Results From Ear Surgery Last?

The changes made in your child’s ears are permanent. As mentioned above, human ears are finished growing at the age of 4. Changes made after that time will not be distorted in any way because the ears are not growing or changing any longer. This is a one-time surgery with great results.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Otoplasty For My Child?

This is surgery, so it has all of the inherent risks involved with any surgery. These include excessive bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. These are very rare risks overall and especially with the extensive experience with these surgeries with children that Dr. Romo has. These are low-risk procedures and they are not overly painful in recovery. Plus, the benefits of the changes in your child’s ears far outweigh the minimal risks involved with these procedures.

Why Choose Dr. Romo For Your Child’s Ear Surgery?

Dr. Romo Sitting on office chair Dr. Romo is a pioneer in the field of otoplasty for children, with more than 25 years of experience in performing groundbreaking surgical techniques for this procedure. He also provides microtia surgery for children. Dr. Romo designed and published a unique otoplasty technique, which enables a more predictable result as well as a tension-free closure that prevents deformity in the post-operative ear shape as the ear heals.

Committed to improving the level of comfort and protection provided by a postoperative ear device for his patients, Dr. Romo designed and developed a device called the ROMO-GUARDTM, which he created specifically for ear reconstruction surgeries.

In partnership with the Little Baby Face Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Romo, he has provided hundreds of free surgeries to children of low-income families who are born with ear deformities.

Where Can I Find The Best Otoplasty Surgeon For Kids In NYC?

Thomas Romo III, MD, FACS is one of the most experienced and respected plastic surgeons for otoplasty and microtia surgery for children in the world, known for his meticulous minimally invasive surgical techniques and for achieving natural-looking results with a shorter recovery period. As a world-renowned innovator in surgical methods as well as an inventor of new endoscopic instruments for facial surgery, Dr. Romo’s practice draws patients from New York City, across the United States, and internationally for all of their surgical and non-surgical facial cosmetic needs.

How Can I Prepare My Child for the Otoplasty Procedure?

Having any kind of surgical procedure can feel stressful for you and your child. This is one of the many reasons why it's important to choose a plastic surgeon with years of experience performing ear surgeries on young patients. Dr. Romo has such extensive experience that he has developed special techniques that are known to achieve outstanding results with minimal disruption to the ears during recovery. As your child's surgery approaches, one of the best ways you can prepare them is through open, honest communication. 

  • Talk to your child about the procedure. Young children don't need to know the technical aspects of surgery to feel prepared. What they need to know is who will be with them, where they will go for their surgery, and, most importantly, what they'll gain from having this procedure. When talking with your child, use positive language so they do not develop the idea that there is something wrong with them or their appearance. You might help them feel good about their procedure by telling them that many children have ear surgery, or even by showing them before and after images of children who've had otoplasty done. All change is for their benefit, and you can explain it in the following ways. "Dr. Romo is going to make your ears more even." "The doctor is going to make your ears sit in the right place." Whatever way you have of describing what to expect, it should be in line with your child's age and ability to understand. 
  • Talk to them about surgery day. Children who know what to expect on any given day are usually calmer. Before surgery, this is extra important. As surgery day approaches, you can walk your child through their experience. Let them know that, after they wake up in the morning, they'll skip breakfast and will go to the doctor's office (or surgical center). Tell them that you will be with them and that they'll see Dr. Romo and some nice nurses who will take good care of them. Let them know that the nurse will give them a hospital gown to put on and that they will receive some medicine that will make them sleepy. While they sleep, the doctor will work on their ears but they won't feel a thing. The nice nurses will be there watching over them the whole time. When they wake up, their ears may hurt a little bit but will be covered with a special "ear hat" to help protect them. Also let your child know that you will be there the entire time and, when they're all better from their sleepiness, you'll bring them home. If your child is on the younger side, you might play out their day, enacting the different parts so they gain a better understanding of what to expect. 
  • Explain recovery to your child. In addition to knowing what to expect on surgery day, your child may feel much more confident about their process when they know they'll be at home with you to recover. You can tell them that their sore ears will be soothed with medication and that the "ear hat" they wear will also help them stay more comfortable. You may also prepare them for other sensations, like itching or tingling. Prepare your child for being off school and away from sports or other hobbies for short time. Talk with them about precautions like sleeping on their back and not touching their ears until they are all better. 
  • Answer your child's questions. Your child may have many questions about their upcoming surgery. This is only natural, and your patience and honesty will serve to soothe their nerves. If your child asks a question you don't know the answer to,  please feel free to sit down with them and call our office to find out what they need to know!

Schedule Your Otoplasty Consultation Today!

If you are interested in learning more about otoplasty for children or microtia surgery for children, call our office today at 212-288-1500. You can also schedule a consultation with Dr. Romo by filling out our appointment request form. Your child deserves to look and feel his or her best, so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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