When children come to Dr. Popp to have their ears “pinned’ closer to their heads, he makes sure the child drives the request, not his or her parents.
“All people with prominent ears are born that way. They develop in childhood,” Dr. Popp said. “And there’s often a psychological issue, with kids being teased when they go to school.”
Dr. Popp said he recently met with a younger boy who wasn’t happy with his ears. And while his parents were supportive, they weren’t pushing him.
“Unless a strong psychological problem could occur if the child doesn’t have a particular procedure, I don’t do them for kids.”
People who have their ears “pinned” tend to fall in two groups:
- Those whose ears stick out.
Most people’s ears are one to two centimeters from the side of their heads. But when ears protrude further, it can become a real problem.
- Those with overly large, dangling earlobes.
“More adults than kids come to me with this issue. The ear has to reach a certain size before you can do an otoplasty,” he said. “The earliest would be about five years old.”
Ears that stick out are caused by cartilage in the ear. Most of these ear malformations are due to cartilage abnormalities.
“Too much cartilage pushes the ear further away from side of the head. And the edges of the ear could be deformed because of this, too,” Dr. Popp said.
- In order to move ears closer to the head, he re–sects the cartilage.
- To re–form the edges of the ear, he manipulates the cartilage.
“For a lot of adults, it’s bugged them their whole lives and one day they decide to do it.”
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