Long-term psychosocial impact of otoplasty performed on children with prominent ears

J Laryngol Otol. 2014 Sep;128(9):768-71. doi: 10.1017/S0022215114001662. Epub 2014 Aug 13.


Objectives: To investigate the psychosocial impact of prominent ears on children, and evaluate the outcomes of otoplasty two years after surgery, using the Child Behavior Checklist to comparatively evaluate patients' psychosocial profiles.

Method and results: A total of 198 otoplasty procedures were performed in 107 patients (85 per cent bilateral procedures). Otoplasty was performed solely in 86 patients and concurrently with other procedures in 21 patients. All children who underwent surgery obtained good post-operative results, with satisfactory correction of the deformity reported by the patients and their parents or guardians. There were statistically significant decreases in Child Behavior Checklist scores in the domains of: anxiety and depression (p = 0.028), social problems (p = 0.018), difficulties in thinking (p = 0.012), total behavioural problems (p = 0.012), internalising problems (p = 0.020) and externalising problems (p = 0.044), and near-significant decreases in scores for attention problems (p = 0.055) and aggressive behaviour (p = 0.078). There was a statistically significant increase in the score for total social competence (p = 0.031).

Conclusion: Psychological problems associated with anatomical deformities such as prominent ears can be reduced by means of appropriate corrective surgery. Psychological support is necessary for the patient.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Ear, External / abnormalities
  • Ear, External / surgery*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Treatment Outcome