If you have prominent ears that are making you feel self-conscious, you’re not alone! Many people are affected by this condition. The most common cause is an underdeveloped antithetical fold, which can arise from a lack of or malformation of the cartilage during early stage development. The condition can also be caused by a deep conchal bowl.
Sometimes the issue resolves itself naturally over time, but for those who want to address the problem, there is a solution. Earfold® is the latest treatment for prominent ears. The procedure is quick; it can be done in less than 20 minutes without the need for surgery.
Dr Pietro di Mauro explains how it works.
So, what is Earfold®?
Earfold® is a small implant made from nitinol (an alloy made from titanium and nickel) designed to reposition prominent ears. It is covered in a thin layer of 24-carat gold to reduce the visibility of the implant. The implant looks like a small metal clip and is placed under the skin on the cartilage of the ear, so that the ear folds back. This procedure is suitable for people over seven years old.
Before the procedure: You will have a consultation to discuss with your doctor if Earfold® is the right choice for you. You will be able to choose how you want your ears to look and in your consultation the doctor will add one or two temporary positioners per ear, exactly where the real Earfold® will be put on the day of your procedure, showing you how your new ears will look!
During the procedure: You will be given local anaesthetic and the procedure will last approximately 20 minutes. The doctor will mark the position of the implants on your ears and you will be given anaesthetic to numb the area. It will be made an 8-10mm long incision, then EarFold® will be placed in your ear with a small handheld device and the implant will immediately reposition your ears. The incision will be closed with stiches and covered with sterile tape.
Recovery after procedure: Your ears will feel numb after the procedure, because of the anaesthetic. Some pain, swelling, bruising and sensitivity can occur, this will fade after a few days. It is okay to wash your hair and shower, just be gentle. Avoid using earrings for two weeks to reduce the risk of infection in the incisions. Sleep on your back, avoid swimming and contact sports for a month to avoid pressure on the ears and to let the implants settle.
It´s a good time to stop smoking, as nicotine reduces blood supply and increases the risk of complications. You can go back to work as soon as you wish and if, for any reason, you want to have the implants removed, it is possible.
Earfold® vs. traditional otoplasty
Otoplasty is a surgical operation that has approximately 6 weeks recovery time. Typically, otoplasty takes an hour or two under a general anaesthetic and a head bandage is necessary to keep wounds clean.
Earfold® is a 20-minute procedure with a recovery time of approximately seven days. A local anaesthetic is administered and aftercare is limited, with patients going home with stitches and sterile strips. The key difference with Earfold®, is that patients can choose the position of their ears BEFORE the treatment. Any pain after treatment typically subsides within the first 48 hours and without the need for bandages, patients can return to work as soon as they feel comfortable to do so.
As with any medical procedure, complications are a possibility, so it is important to talk about EarFold® with a qualified surgeon who can answer all of your questions.
If you would like to talk to Dr Pietro di Mauro, book a no-obligation appointment at any one of our Costa del Sol clinics!