General anesthesia may be necessary at that age.
Find a board certified plastic surgeon who regularly performs ear correction surgeries. Then look at the plastic
surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of
who can deliver the results.
Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA
The ears are relatively easy to numb with local anesthetic, so it really depends on whether the patient can tolerate the injections.
You must way the social aspect of her protruding ears vs the risk of a GA. If she is healthy, I would recommend a GA and have her do it at that age. Later on even at 18 she may not want it as she may be scarred to have the surgery.
A 10 year old will need a general anaesthesia to minimize intraoperative discomfort and have full cooperation of the patient. If she can wait until 18 years of age, it may be possible to perform the procedure under local and sedation.
It is highly likely that she will need general anesthesia during the procedure. Rarely, a ten year old will have the maturity to tolerate anything but a short procedure under local anesthesia. Her plastic surgeon should be able to assess this during your daughter's consultation but it would be unusual to perform otoplasty on a ten year old under local anesthesia alone.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
Operating on children, one does not want to traumatized the child. Therefore if your child's ears are not bad, and you want local anesthesia then wait till she is above 18 years and can participate in the decision making for surgery and anesthesia. However at 10 years she may not tolerate the local anesthesia and the only safe option is general anesthesia.
Samir Shureih MD. FACS