Sound Advice for Children's Ears

Bye-Bye, Big Ears

Exceptionally large or protruding ears rarely cause hearing or health problems, but fixing this hereditary condition can help your child feel less self-conscious. Not only is it possible to pin back ears, but they can also be reshaped, reduced in size, or made more symmetrical. The surgical procedure, known as otoplasty, is relatively simple and has a short recovery time. For the best results, have the correction done as soon as your child's ears reach full size, usually at age 6, says Seth Thaller, M.D., chief of plastic surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine, in Florida. The average cost is around $3,000, which is usually not covered by insurance. To find a board-certified pediatric surgeon, contact the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (at 888-4752-7842 or www.plasticsurgery.org, or ask your pediatrician for a referral to a plastic surgeon who works with children.

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