Little Tomek has a big problem. The boy’s protruding and huge ears are an object of mockery at school even by his closest friends. Tomek is so distressed about it that he even began going to the psychologist together with his parents. Recently he confessed that when he’s playing he’s constantly worried that his friends may laugh at his ears. The boy has only one dream, he wishes for this “huge, protruding SOMETHING” to look like his peers ears. Initially Tomek’s parents tried to ignore the problem but after a couple of months they decided that the boy should undergo plastic surgery.
An interview with dr Jerzy Wilgus, a plastic surgeon and head of EUROKLINIKA at Katowice.
– How many stories of this kind have you heard, doctor?
– Many. In most cases the problem disappears very quickly and does not constitute a challenge in the surgical sense. Correction of pinnas is one of the easiest procedures. It is performed under regional anaesthesia, the patient remains fully conscious but doesn’t feel any pain. If the patient is very young then together with his parents we may consider to place him under general anaesthesia to spare him the stress of staying in an operating room.
– The most common surgery performed on children is otoplasty, that is the correction of pinnas. Children constitute a very specific group of our patients, mainly because of the fact that it is the parents who make a formal decision about the operation. Of course it is frequently conditioned by the young patients’ requests, however there exist cases in which it is the parent who sees some kind of “defect” while the child doesn’t have any idea that it needs to undergo surgery.
– It should be remembered that plastic surgeries in 99% of cases are not necessary for a person to feel comfortable in life, develop or function normally. A humped nose, protruding ears or small breasts do not disturb the organism’s natural, physiological functioning. The problem arises when for some reasons we do not accept the what we look or our environment exerts pressure on us – that happens in the case of children who’s outlook on life is mainly shaped by the opinion of their peers and the decisions of their parents. Here we get to the heart of the matter – plastic surgeries are first of all treatments performed on the patient’s soul and only secondly on his/her body. Complexes cannot be cured by a scalpel, however plastic surgery can to a great extent help the patient in regaining his faith in himself. When changing the appearance results in a positive psychological attitude we achieve success! In the case of children this state comes very quickly – when Tomek will return after the surgery to kindergarten or school his peers will treat him like a hero – he was in a hospital, he had an operation and now looks exactly like everyone else. The need to belong to a group and identify with it are the essential features of homo sapiens. This however does not absolve us from thinking through the decision about the surgery. As I have already mentioned, the correction of protruding pinnas is one of the least burdening procedures in plastic surgery and its positive effects will last for the whole life!
– What does otoplasty consist of and how much does it cost?
– The operation consists of performing a surgical incision on one or both pinnas. Appropriately shaped cartilages are then permanently stitched up. Then, the cut is closed by means of dissolvable or indissoluble (until their removal after the wound has healed, that is 9-12 weeks after the surgery) the stitches. Pain complaints are most nagging during the first 48 hours after the surgery, however they may be controlled by medicines. The surgery takes up to 40 minutes and does not require the patient to stay in EUROKLINIKA for a longer period of time. treatment takes up to 2 weeks while the price ranges from 2000-3000 zl.