Protruding ears is usually due to a weakness in part of the ear cartilage. It can sometimes cause the child distress, especially if he or she is being teased at school.
Surgical correction called “pinnaplasty” can be performed but not usually before the child is six years old.
The cartilage is stronger and consultants like the child to be mature enough to understand what is happening to them as this makes for a smoother recovery and ultimately the best result. The operation involves a general anaesthetic. The consultant makes a cut behind the ear and create a natural looking fold in the cartilage which pulls the ear inwards towards the head.
A head bandage is then left in place for two weeks to help the ears heal in their new position. This can be a little itchy and uncomfortable for the child and is another reason consultants advocate waiting until they are at least six years of age so that they understand why they need to wear the bandage.
They then ask the child to wear an elasticated headband over their ears for another 4 weeks at night-time only.