Facial plastic surgeon Dr. John Hilinski offers an in-depth look into ear pinning, and how it can help children avoid bullying.
San Diego, CA — According to 2012 statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), cosmetic ear surgery (otoplasty) made up 45 percent of all plastic surgery procedures performed on children ages 18 and under, making it the most frequently performed procedure for minors. Dr. John Hilinski, a facial plastic surgeon in San Diego, says otoplasty can be beneficial to young children who are about to start going to school, as children’s ears are done developing usually by age five or six.
Generally, this is the time they begin kindergarten, making it the perfect time to consider ear pinning. Dr. Hilinski recommends that children have the surgery prior to beginning their education, because “we all know how mean other children can be.” The procedure will keep the patient’s ears from sticking out so their overall aesthetic does not call attention to them in a negative manner. The results of otoplasty will support healthier emotional development, avoiding potential psychological trauma from taunting, he says.
Although ear pinning is usually performed on younger patients, Dr. Hilinski sees patients of all ages for the procedure at his San Diego facial plastic surgery practice. People who have excessively large or protruding ears may consider otoplasty as a way to remedy the issue. He notes other candidates for otoplasty include people whose ears are taller than normal, lack definition and contour on the surface, or who have a lobule (the fleshy part of the ear) that projects out too far. According to Dr. Hilinski, these issues are often due to an abnormality that occurred during development. Many patients may also elect to have otoplasty in order to correct a lobule that has been damaged due to stretching from body modifications and piercings.
Most patients undergoing the procedure are only in surgery for approximately one or two hours, says Dr. Hilinski. During this time, he will make incisions behind the ear so the scars will be easily hidden. After removing any excess skin, he reshapes the cartilage underneath and creates a more appealing size and shape to the ear. Dr. Hilinski will then use sutures or stitches in order to bring the ear closer to the patient’s head. The surgery is performed while the patient is sedated, usually with a simple oral sedative, such as Ambien® for older patients. However, the San Diego facial plastic surgeon says anesthesia can also be administered through an IV when necessary.
Dr. Hilinski urges potential otoplasty patients as well as parents of children considering otoplasty to seek a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to perform the surgery, in order to ensure safety and achieve optimal results.
About John M. Hilinski, MD
Dr. John Hilinski is a “double board-certified” facial plastic surgeon in San Diego. His certification is in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and has been featured in several medical textbooks and journals. He was appointed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Health Facilities Finance Authority (CHFFA) beginning in 2007. Dr. Hilinski currently holds an appointment as a Clinical Instructor in surgery at UCSD School of Medicine, and serves as a staff surgeon at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.
Dr. John Hilinski
3720 Fourth Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92103