Bullying is one of the major issues today especially with school-age children.
Sometimes it springs out of insecurity, but in some cases it can be due to some physical problem that the victim has. One particular subject of most ridicule are prominent ears. It is when the ears are at a larger angle away from the head. The teasing not only crashes the child’s self esteem but just might scar him way into adulthood. So to prevent the needles bashing, otoplasty surgery on children can be done to remedy the problem. Watch the video of a first grader, Samantha Shaw undergo surgery to overcome bullying at school.
As sad as the reality may be, most of the time it is hard to control this kind of hostility. The jokes, teasing and nasty remarks can come so insensitively and on a daily basis. These kids can laugh at someone with weight issues, a bucktooth, or even just the mere fact that someone wears glasses.
But among those that are placed on the spotlight to be laughed about are ears that have grown rather awkward in relation to the face. This is really not a laughable matter but simply a physical condition or a congenital deformity where the ear’s cartilage is not attached the way they usually are in most people.
It doesn’t always mean that the ears are big, but there are certain folds or natural creases that are not present in the ears of some individuals. Those who have this may probably think it to be a little too overpowering, but how much more disturbing would it be when it is being constantly shoved to their faces that they looked odd.
Nadia Ilse is a 14 year old girl from Georgia who had been bullied since she was a kid due to her awkward ears. What she had were a pair that seemingly grew out of proportion relative to her face. This led her to be nicknamed as “Dumbo” or “elephant ears” by her classmates.
To Nadia, all those teasing were so hurtful that it led her to shy away from socializing with people. She even begged her mom to get her an otoplasty (a corrective ear-pinning surgery) when she was ten. Unfortunately due to the hefty price tag her mom was not able to afford her this surgery, seeing the pain and trauma that her daughter is also going through.
Fortunately after searching on the internet, her mom found out about Little Baby Face Foundation (LBFF). It is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Thomas Romo III and Lauralouise Duffy-Blatt back in 2002. It aims to transform the lives of young children who are battling the emotional trauma caused by physical deformities through free cosmetic surgery. And since its founding, they have helped over 150 children across America.
When Nadia’s application was granted, she and her mother were flown to New York to have the surgery that she needed with Dr. Romo III. On consultation, the surgeon saw that aside from correcting the protrusion of the ears, Nadia also needed some improvement done on her nose. And to balance it out, he also deemed it fit to create some changes to her chin.
So overall she was to undergo three cosmetic surgeries, an otoplasty, a reduction rhinoplasty and mentoplasty. The total cost of this procedure was around $40,000, and Nadia luckily got it all for free.
The surgery went without a hitch, and today, in an interview with CNN Nadia dons better confidence with the way that her face has improved. The four hour operation has helped her to end all those years of bullying, and feel better about herself.
The surgeries gave her a more symmetrical look, and even correct a deviated septum and improve which allowed her to breathe more properly. It also gave her a more defined jawline.
The results were indeed amazing, given that they were made possible by experienced surgeons and industry professionals. According to their website, they organize their surgeries to make sure that the invasiveness is minimized.
Since some children require multiple procedures, the surgeons at the foundation would also come up with a plan to make it possible for these to be done in one session. This is to cut back on the number of times that the child has to be hospitalized.
After 72 hours after her surgery, Nadia went back to the clinic to have her bandages removed. Although she is still a bit swollen, she is already happy with what she sees.
What is Otoplasty Surgery?
Otoplasty or ear pinning is a procedure that is aimed at improving the structure and placement of the ears. Aside from being a perfect solution to correct overly protruding ears, otoplasty also improves cupped ears, folded ears and even those that have been disfigured due to burns or other accidents.
The process involves incisions made at the back of the ears to sculpt it to a certain shape, and afterwards remove some cartilage that has been pushing the ear to protrude. Sutures are also used to “pin” the ear in place, which is at a closer angle to the head.
This procedure is often done in children between the ages four to fourteen. Otoplasty surgeon will not operate on anyone younger than this because it is important the ear has stopped growing before any repair will be made.
But some would suggest that the earlier the surgery is done the less teasing and taunting the child experiences, especially when he/she has not started school yet. However this matter should be decided very carefully by the parents. An operation will be very distressing for a child, especially when they know that they will be apart from their mommy and daddy during the procedure.
With careful consideration and deliberation from the parents, and the child as well, a dramatic result won’t be far off. The parents should also think about how they would manage the healing period, which can be very challenging for them and the kid as well. Although in some cases some heal at a good pace.
The surgeon on whom to trust your child’s ear pinning procedure should also be chosen very carefully, to ensure that your child will be under the best care. As much as possible do not allow any revisions just because of the poor competency of the surgeon. Make sure that you look for a highly experienced, skilled, and board certified surgeon to do the job right the first time.
With the dramatic results that an otoplasty surgery creates, you can avoid having your child go through emotional torment in these delicate formative years.