Protruding ears are a common condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem, especially if the condition is present from birth.
Otoplasty is a type of ear surgery that has been around for several decades but the Earfold technique, which was developed in London following years of evaluation and refinement, is still new. This new technique is said to be simpler and minimally-invasive and has become quite popular amongst adults who would prefer not to undergo a full otoplasty procedure.
Earfold vs. Otoplasty procedures
Let’s look at a few of the key differences between these two procedures:
Overview: During this procedure, small incisions are made on the back side of each ear, or along the inner creases of the ears. Any excess cartilage is either folded into the best position or removed. Once the ears are in the correct position, the incisions will be closed.
Duration: On average, an otoplasty procedure will take 60 to 90 minutes, with 30 to 60 minutes required per ear. The surgery is generally performed under general anaesthetic so additional time will be needed to recover.
Recovery: Otoplasty patients will need at least 10 days to recover from the procedure and a bandage will need to be worn the entire time to keep the ears in place. There will also be some mild discomfort and itchiness. Patients should avoid any rough movement of the ears for at least 2 months after their surgery.
Ideal age: Otoplasty specialists in Cairns, Jade Cosmetic Clinic, will perform this surgery at any age as long as the ears have reached their full size, which is usually around the age of 5.
Overview: During this procedure, a thin, gold-plated implant is placed under the skin of the front of the ear, which will allow the cartilage to bend and correct the shape and position of the ear. The earfold procedure will be performed under local anaesthetic.
Duration:The earfold procedure will take a mere 20 minutes to perform. In order to give the patient more control of the final position of their ears, temporary positioners are put in place before the procedure. If the patient is happy with the positioning, the implants will be inserted.
Recovery: This minimally-invasive procedure will not require the patient to wear any bandages and because it’s done under local anaesthetic, recovery times will be a lot shorter. The small incision that is made during the procedure generally heals very quickly.
Ideal age:The earfold procedure is mostly performed on children that are 7 or older because the ear cartilage is stronger, which increases the success rate of the procedure.
Both of these ear surgeries offer incredibly effective results. The procedure that you choose is mostly dependant on the age of the patient as well as each unique case. In order to make an informed decision, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified professional to ascertain which procedure is best for you or your child.