The health implications of bullying are widely cited. A 2015 study by the Center for Disease Control showed that bullying raises a number of major health risks that cannot be overlooked.
The National Institute of Health has shared more details about the health implications of bullying, along with references to a number of studies on the topic. They showed that bullying has taken its toll on many people’s physical and mental health, which can lead to a number of health problems.
Unfortunately, the health risks of bullying are severe. Since there are so many different causes of bullying, it can be difficult to address all the problems. The good news is that there are some viable solutions that will minimize the health risks that come with it.
One option is to consider ear pinning. This is a good way to reduce bullying for people that have ears that stick out.
Can Ear Pinning Reduce the Health Risks of Bullying?
Ears that stick out more than most can make that individual a target for bullying. Individuals may also have asymmetric ears, or ears that have been injured or misshaped because of an accident, birth defect, or injury. These problems, and more, can often be corrected by a procedure called ear pinning or otoplasty.
According to LiveScience, a growing number of children with large ears have started getting these surgeries to overcome the mental health problems associated with bullying. The article points out that children as young as 6 years old have started getting the procedures.
Otoplasty can also be performed to create a better appearance. Although the procedure is most commonly performed on children, women and men can also have this done as adults.
Children (and adults) can become very insecure or conscious if their ears stick out. Other children may make fun of their ears. This procedure can correct that problem and make them more comfortable and accepted, boosting their self-esteem. Women may also be self-conscious about their ears and keep them covered, even if they would prefer to wear their hair up.
Otoplasty can also reduce unusually large ears that have split earlobes or a lop ear. Ear size can be reduced, split ears can be made more proportional, and lop ears (ears that bend forward at the top) can be corrected to look more normal.
Sometimes, only one ear is sticking out too far. This surgery can also be done on one ear, rather than both, but the surgeon may recommend doing both to ensure a more symmetrical look.
There are several reasons why ears may stick out. There could be overdevelopment of cartilage in the ear, which will cause this problem. Underdevelopment can also do it, as well as an injury to the ear. Estimates vary in range, but about 30 percent of children that develop prominent ears will have normal-looking ears at birth.
Ear pinning, which doesn’t involve any actual “pinning,” is usually conducted on an outpatient basis. Children are usually given general anesthesia, but adults are often given anesthesia through an IV, along with local anesthesia, so that they remain awake. In some cases, they may only be given local anesthesia.
The plastic surgeon will start by making an incision in the fold behind your ear. This enables it to be invisible, and no scar will be seen. Surgery isn’t always used for this procedure. Sometimes, the surgeon will simply apply a few stitches to hold the cartilage in the ears in place.
When the ears stick out, the surgery involves reshaping of the cartilage in or behind the ear. Some cartilage will be removed and repositioned, so that the ears are closer to the head. Sutures will be placed, so that the bowl of the ear is moved toward the head.
If the top of the ear doesn’t have a sufficient crease in it to bend over, the surgeon can put one in. Several sutures put in the right place will help to create it.
If there’s an asymmetry in the ears, the surgeon will be careful to make them of the same size. Measurements will be taken through the procedure to ensure a nearly identical size.
Most of the time, cosmetic ear surgery is performed after a child is five years old, but sometimes, even three-year-old can have it done. There’s no maximum age, which is why some adults can have it done, too. The procedure is usually performed on both ears to ensure symmetry.
When going to see the surgeon for a consultation, you’ll need to provide a medical history and a list of any medications you’re taking. The patient will need to be in good enough health to undergo general anesthesia. It will require that a tube be put down the throat to help control breathing. The doctor will also examine the ears, record their size, shape, symmetry, and will probably take pictures.
Your expectations will be discussed. The surgeon will also notify you of any possible risks that may be connected with the surgery.
Once the procedure is agreed upon, the patient will need to stay off of certain medications that will thin the blood before the surgery. Smoking will have to stop – if you smoke, and it isn’t allowed during recovery because it will slow the rate of healing.
Once the surgery has been completed, the surgeon will wrap the head and ears. This bandage, which will help to hold a compression dressing in place, will have to remain in place for several days. Washing your hair won’t be possible. Once it’s removed, a headband will need to be worn to support and protect the ears. It will help to prevent them from folding, which can damage the stitches and tissues operated on. Your ears will be apt to be red and swollen, and the headband will need to be worn for two to six weeks. You won’t be allowed to wear glasses or earrings during this period.
There may be some numbness and itching following the procedure, which is common. It usually goes away after a few weeks.
Some pain may occur during the recovery period. This can be expected, but it can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. If the pain becomes more severe, the surgeon can prescribe medications for it.
You can go back to school or work after about one week. After two weeks, you can resume your regular activity, along with your exercise regimen. Contact sports and swimming should be avoided for about eight weeks following surgery.
Depending on the work that has to be done, the procedure can take less than two hours, or it may require several hours to complete. The surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis at a surgery center, or as an outpatient or inpatient at a hospital.
Most people that have otoplasty are glad to have had it done. They feel better about themselves, and say that they have a better quality of life afterward.
Health Benefits of Ear Pinning to Stop Bullying Can Be Incredible
There are plenty of reasons that bullying causes major health problems. Children that endure bullying have a greater likelihood of becoming suicidal, suffering from depression, anxiety and physical abuse. The good news is that ear pinning and other procedures can help.
When you’re considering ear pinning for your child or yourself, Dr. Theo Gerstle can help you. He’s a plastic surgeon that performs many types of plastic surgery. Fortunately, you have plenty of great options if you need this kind of surgery.