Gage Berger was bullied in school because of the way he looked – he had protruding ears – so his parents decided to help him out. They scheduled ear-pinning surgery with a plastic surgery specialist.
"Some are OK with their protruding ears while others want them fixed to improve their self confidence."
Dr. Steven Mobley, of Mobley Foundation for Charitable Surgery, said that everyone's case is unique – some are OK with their protruding ears while others want them fixed to improve their self-confidence.
"I get a lot of patients with big ears, and some of them decide they like their ears and they have the strength and resilience to stand up to bullies," Mobley said to ABC News. "But I also have other patients who are just crushed, and they shouldn't be shamed for wanting a procedure that helps them gain back their confidence."
For Timothy Berger, the decision was likely simple. He'd schedule surgery for his son with Dr. Mobley.
"I'd catch [Gage] looking in the mirror and trying to pin them back, and when he got nervous or upset or when he was in trouble, he'd physically grab his ears," Berger said to ABC News. "It was subconscious. It was him thinking that his ears were the problem and that was why he must be in trouble."
After the two-hour procedure and a couple of days passed, doctors unwrapped his ears and revealed them to a jovial Gage. "He's so much more confident," Berger said.
What is otoplasty?
While protruding ears are mostly a cosmetic problem for younger children (and thus the procedure is mainly performed on young people), anyone can schedule otoplasty. This ear surgery is typically performed on people whose ears stick out, butit can also treat conditions related to other deformities resulting from defects, as well as accidents that result in ear loss.
When someone schedules otoplasty they can expect the procedure to:
- Bring proportion to the face.
- Reshape long or offset earlobes.
- Enhance small ears or other defects.
- Correct lop ears.
- Remedy an accidental injury.
If you're hesitant about undergoing otoplasty, we understand. But you shouldn't be when you work with the best plastic surgeon on Long Island Dr. Marotta of Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists.
Children undergo this type of surgery after they're placed under general anesthesia. On the other hand, adults do the same under local anesthesia. The procedure begins with incisions under the crease of both ears. Dr. Marotta then reshapes the cartilage to help bring the ears closer to the base of the head. The entire process takes only two hours and recovery time is roughly a few days at minimum.