Q: Dr. Eppley, My 5-year old daughter has protruding ears, and I was interested in looking into costs associated with having them fixed and if she is currently a candidate or if it is best to wait until she is a little older.
A: Thank you for your inquiry. Otoplasty surgery can really be done at any age after two years old from a biologic standpoint. Ear growth is not affected when performed after this age. Thus, otoplasty in children is done when the parent(s) feel that it is in the child’s best psychological interest to do so. It is historically common to perform the procedure before school formally starts which is where the ‘by age 6’ concept has its origin. Since some form of formal schooling is not occurring earlier than age 6, it would not be rare today to do the surgery by age 4 or 5. This is really a parental decision not a plastic surgery one.
Dr. Barry Eppley