EI am in my 40s and I am terribly self-conscious about my ears. They stick out at an almost 90-degree angle from my head. I have always tried to cover them with my hair, but it never works. I really want to do something about it now that I have a bit of money to pay for whatever surgery is
necessary. What options are available to me and do I need to be referred? Should I go the cosmetic surgery route or through a regular hospital? Also, my one-year-old niece has inherited the condition, even though her mother didn’t have it. What options are available for babies?
I don’t want my niece to go through what I did. ars are felt to protrude if they stick out more than 2cm from the side of the head. Most ears protrude at an angle of 20 to 35 degrees — more than 35 degrees is considered above normal. About 5pc of the population has protruding ears. It can run in families but may occur sporadically also.
Otoplasty, which is the surgical correction of protruding ears, is the most common cosmetic procedure carried out on children. Those who have protruding ears may be self-conscious or be subjected to ridicule and bullying, so many parents seek treatment for their children. The procedure normally takes place once the ears are fully-grown — somewhere between the age of six and nine.
If you are self-conscious about your ears and it is affecting your self-esteem then seeking correction is a reasonable path. Surgical cosmetic procedures are not generally covered in the public system and so you may need to be referred to a private surgeon or clinic. Do start with your GP — they can direct you to the right service.
The surgeon should be registered and practising full time in Ireland. They should be registered on the specialist register of the Irish medical Council as a plastic or ENT surgeon. You should attend for a pre-operative consultation. At this review you should be able to have any questions answered. The cost and process of the procedure should be fully reviewed and explained.
It is important that you meet the doctor who will be carrying out the procedure and that they examine you, discuss the surgery and advise you of any possible risks or complications. It may not be nice to think of what might go wrong but if you are attending a clinic, you should ask what hospital they are affiliated with and where you would be cared for if any compliof