For soon-to-be parents who are concerned their unborn child might need a procedure like an otoplasty, there is news that might be encouraging for you. According to the Cornell Chronicle, doctors have developed a nonsurgical way to fix ear deformities for infants. The Cornell Chronicle’s Anne Machalinski details this in a recent article titled “Doctors nonsurgically correct infant ear deformities.”
Machalinski writes, “A team of researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center has improved a nonsurgical procedure that safely and effectively corrects newborn ear deformities in just two weeks – a drastically shorter period of time than previously reported. In their study, published today in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the researchers demonstrate how a rigid plastic mold can be used to reshape deformed ears – softening the curves and re-contouring the cartilage – when applied to newborn infants’ ears within the first few weeks of their lives. They also discovered that the pain-free and noninvasive procedure could effectively transform the ear shape in 14 days, compared with the six to eight weeks doctors historically have advised.”
While this is encouraging news for those with infants, most children need to get the procedure done between 5 and 14 years of age. This is because the optimal time for performing otoplasty in children is just before they start school, when the ear is over 85% of the adult size and there is less of a chance of it causing psychological damage to a child’s self-esteem.
To see just how well this can work out, consider the story of Neil Patrick Harris who disclosed in a 2008 interview that he had an otoplasty, which helped him deal with self-consciousness and lower-self esteem. This is detailed in an article for Newsday titled “Neil Patrick Harris: Some exceptional facts about the Oscar host.”
If you’re considering an otoplasty, you need a trusted surgeon. Dr. Rex Moulton-Barrett is internationally known and acknowledged. He holds the rare distinction of being board certified in two distinct surgical specialties, The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Dr. Moulton-Barrett’s bilateral otoplasty procedure usually takes about two hours. If a child is older than 12 to 13 years of age, otoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia with or without oral sedation, in an office setting, in a minor operating room. Generally, the surgery will leave a faint scar in the back of the ear that will fade with time.
If you’re considering otoplasty, contact Dr. Moulton-Barrett for a consultation.