There are generally two subsets of patients who present for ear-pinning and/or reshaping, the child who is brought in by a concerned parent, and the older individual who has, after many years, decided to improve their aesthetic appearance for whatever reason.
The child may be brought in because of a parent’s concern for the child’s appearance only, or because of repeated teasing, social shunning, and attendant effects on self-esteem, sports, or school performance. It is best to undertake repair of the prominent ear just before first grade. At that point, the ear has attained roughly 85% of it’s normal adult size, and any growth disturbance from the operation would be negligible, however, there is much advantage to performing the procedure before the badgering starts, allowing the child to undergo normal development without the psychological trauma that typically follows.
Anyone with real concerns about the function or appearance of their ear(s) makes a good candidate. Unrealistic expectations, deficits that only the patient can see, psycho-emotional instability, the belief that one’s entire life rests on undergoing the procedure are all red flags. Obviously the ideal candidate would have no medical problems that would preclude an operation; as long as a patient is healthy there is no real upper age limit on the procedure.