The term for “ears which stick out”
abnormally is Prominent Ears. This is a
congenital problem that can be fixed.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia usually as an
outpatient. The procedure involves
reshaping the cartilage of the ear to allow the external ear to reside closer
to the side of the head. At 4 ½ years of
age the ear has not fully grown so you would want to wait a few years usually
6-8 to have a nearly full grown ear to treat and before a child has issues with
her prominent ears. This is a highly
successful surgery usually performed by Plastic Surgeons. As always a consult
with a Plastic Surgeon can answer specific questions and alleviate your
This is an Aesthetic surgery and definitely should be performed only if the patient wants the surgery. As every surgery, this one have some post op care, which are not easy even when the patient wants the surgery, imagine without wanting it, and your daughter should be the one to decide if she doesnt like her ears and wants them to be fixed. In my practice i only perform Otoplasty on childrens over 6 y/o who comes to my office and tell me them self that they don't like their ears. I would recommend you to wait a little longer so your daughters ears are almost full developed and she will have an opinion on her own.
Photos would be helpful to give you the best advice, but in most cases, surgery can be done to improve ears that stick out. The timing of the surgery is variable. Some parents like to wait until their child is older but some prefer to have it done sooner. There are some parents who prefer to have the surgery done prior to the child beginning school, to avoid any possible teasing due to the ears. If the surgery is done when the child is fairly young, then general anesthesia is normally needed. If the surgery is done when the child is older, it is possible to have the procedure done with local anesthesia and IV sedation. The cost will vary by surgeon.