Psychosocial effects of otoplasty in children with prominent ears

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Nov;32(6):910-4. doi: 10.1007/s00266-008-9179-x. Epub 2008 Jun 6.


This study aimed to investigate changes experienced by children during the pre- and postoperative periods of prominent ear corrective surgery. A total of 30 patients with prominent ears, sometimes called "lop ears" or "cup ears," ranging in age from 6 to 14 years were consecutively enrolled in this study. Half of the patients (n = 15, 50%) were male. The inclusion criteria specified children with prominent ears and reports of evident anatomic deformity. Clinical evaluations, routine laboratory tests, and interviews were performed in the pre- and postoperative periods. To assess the dissatisfaction or social maladjustment caused by the prominent ears, questionnaires, which are used routinely in psychological and psychiatric practices, were applied in the pre- and postoperative periods. The tests used were the Child Behavior Check List, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children, and the Children's Depression Inventory. The patients themselves and their parents or guardians reported improvements in terms of anatomic aspect. For the psychological tests, improvements in almost all the assessed items were observed. In conclusion, psychological problems caused by anatomic deformities, such as prominent ears, can be improved by adequate corrective surgery. Psychological support is necessary for the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Ear, External / abnormalities
  • Ear, External / surgery*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Probability
  • Psychology
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome