Prominent Ears

We now offer simple EarFold correction under local anaesthetic.

earFold™ implants reshape your ears with a simple procedure lasting just a few minutes. A local anaesthetic injection is used to completely numb the ear. The earFold™ implants are then introduced under the skin of the ear through a small incision. Once in place, earFold™ grips the cartilage of the ear and immediately adopts a pre-set shape. This creates or enhances the shape of the anti-helical fold, reducing the prominence of your ear. The incision is then closed. While in place, earFold™ re-moulds the cartilage of the ear allowing it to maintain its new shape. Since earFold™ is made of a super-elastic material, your ear can still be moved in a natural way while the implant is in place and it will always spring back to its corrected position.
Some cases are not suitable for earFold correction. In these cases standard otoplasty techniques can be employed.

 

What is otoplasty?

This is a surgical procedure which involves reshaping the ear and setting it closer to the head – commonly known as a procedure for ‘bat ears’ or ‘ears that stick out’ aiming to ‘pin them back’.

The actual size of the ear will not be changed significantly – this requires a different procedure.

Otoplasty simply means surgery to change the shape of the ears. While correction of prominent ears is the commonest procedure – this term applies to any operation to reshape the ears and would apply to cosmetic reshaping of the ear lobe & careful repair of torn ear-lobes where ear-rings have been dislodged

This is an operation designed for those with prominent ears (‘bat ears’ or ‘sticking out’ ears) who would prefer for them to be set closer to the head. It is most commonly performed for children between the ages of 3-14 giving consideration to the age they may become socially stigmatised i.e. school age. It can be performed for adults who are self-conscious about prominent ears. The ear prominence may be on both sides or one side may be more prominent

 

Who is it for?

This is an operation designed for those with prominent ears (‘bat ears’ or ‘sticking out’ ears) who would prefer for them to be set closer to the head. It is most commonly performed for children between the ages of 3-14 giving consideration to the age they may become socially stigmatised i.e. school age. It can be performed for adults who are self-conscious about prominent ears. The ear prominence may be on both sides or one side may be more prominent

 

What does it not do?

It is not possible to guarantee perfect symmetry after the procedure. Asymmetry of the ears often exists prior to surgery and is particularly difficult to correct perfectly.

 

Do I need to take any time off work or school?

Most children can go back to school after a week but they still need to be careful about playground activity. If you are older and work you will also need a week or so off during which time you should avoid strenuous exercise. It is important to remember that you will not be able to drive or operate machinery for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic and 24 hours after intravenous sedation.

 

What are the potential complications?

Most patients are very happy with the results of their surgery but keep in mind that the goal is improvement, not perfection. Do not expect both ears to match perfectly – perfect symmetry is both unlikely and unnatural in ears.

The scar behind the ear usually fades well but on rare occasions it can become red and lumpy (hypertrophic) – this occurs in up to 4% of cases.
Infection is uncommon but if it does occur it usually settles down with antibiotics.
Bleeding under the skin (a heamatoma) can occur but is usually minor because of the head dressing that is used.
The ears usually feel numb or tingly for several weeks after surgery.
There is a small risk that further adjustment surgery may be required.

 

What does the surgery involve?

Your particular procedure will be selected according to your particular presentation as discussed in the consultation.

In general terms: the procedure may be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia.

The incision is generally placed behind the ear – but some techniques require a small incision in front of the ear too.
The cartilage folds inside the ear are then re-shaped – or a small piece is removed – and sutures (stitches) placed to hold the new position and close the wound.
In some cases this allows the ear to lie in a new position closer to the head and this is all that is required.
In other cases, additional sutures (stitches) are required in the groove behind the ear to anchor the ear closer to the head.

What can I expect immediately after the operation?

A head bandage will be placed at the end of the operation which must stay on for a week day and night and will be removed in the clinic.

At that time, the ears will still be a little bruised and swollen (for a total of 2-3 weeks) but most of the result will be visible at that stage.

It is important that you continue to wear a supportive head band at night for a further 4 weeks after surgery to help support the new ear position during this early phase of healing.

Frequently there is not enough room to accommodate wisdom teeth and as such they do not come into the mouth normally. When this happens, the wisdom teeth are said to be “impacted”. Wisdom teeth are usually either impacted forwards into the tooth in front or backwards into the jaw bone.

Outline of The Surgical Procedure
  • A local anaesthetic injection is used to completely numb the ear.
  • The earFold™ implants are then introduced under the skin of the ear through a small incision.
  • Once in place, earFold™ grips the cartilage of the ear and immediately adopts a pre-set shape.
  • The incision is then closed.