Children ages 13 to 19 received 27.7% of otoplasties, according to a recent study released last week by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. The organization’s 2008 Procedural Survey also found that otoplasty has the youngest mean age of both invasive and less invasive cosmetic procedures, at 29.
"While cosmetic surgery is not for all adolescents, there appears to be a trend in otoplasty for younger patients," states Patrick McMenamin, MD, President of the AACS. "The bottom line is that if the teen is of appropriate psychological and physical maturity, then the teen can reap the benefits of an early age otoplasty. In my experience, it is the youngster who comes in adamantly requesting the procedure."
Generally, ears reach their full growth potential by age 6 which is drastically earlier than other parts of an adolescent body. In fact, it is preferred to have an otoplasty at a younger age because the cartilage is extremely flexible, thereby permitting greater ease of shaping and a better result.
The survey results and doctor interviews are available by contacting the Academy at www.cosmeticsurgery.org.