Having protruding or overly-prominent ears can significantly impact on self-esteem and people can be very self-conscious about the effect this has on their overall appearance, particularly when they are in their teens.
In the past, we had to do a complicated surgical procedure to pin the ears back, but 80% of patients don’t actually need to undergo this surgery. Today, I am one of the only cosmetic surgeons in Ireland using an innovative new technique that provides an easier, less intrusive and more affordable option to my patients.
A simple invention called the earFold device has proven to be extremely effective. These are metal alloy clips we use to pin back the ears of a patient, to create a customised result, and I would highly recommend this product.
This earFold System for the correction of prominent ears is a minimally invasive treatment and only takes about 20 minutes. Best of all, it can be done under local anaesthetic, so there are fewer risks and side effects than there would be with other cosmetic surgery procedures.
The preFold positioner involves previewing the desired results with the patent to determine the placement of the implant on the ear for the desired outcome by externally attaching the clips to the ear to show the final aesthetic outcome.
Once the number and position of clips has been suitably determined, the earFold implant is inserted under the skin in the exact position determined and agreed upon with the patient. Local anaesthetic is used and the procedure takes less than half an hour.
The position of the implants will be marked on your ears with a marker pen. Once you are comfortably lying down, your ear will be cleaned with antiseptic solution and a drape will be placed over your ear to create a sterile operating field.
Insertion of the earFold™ implant is performed under local anaesthetic.
The only discomfort you will experience is the prick of the needle and the slight sting of the anaesthetic for 1-2 seconds. The rest of the procedure is completely painless.
Once the skin is numb, a small incision (typically less than 10 mm in length) is made at the edge of your ear.
Through this incision, a tunnel is created under the skin. Then, with the help of a special introducer, the earFold™ implant is positioned and released at the pre-marked position on the skin.
Once in place, the earFold™ implant adopts its predetermined curve folding back the ear cartilage to reduce the prominence of the ear.
The incision is closed with two or three absorbable sutures.Sticky tapes (Steristrips™) are then used as a dressing.
The whole procedure should last no more than 20 minutes.
After treatment, you will be allowed to go home.
There is no need for bandages or dressings but you will be given a short prescription for antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
Arrangements will also be made for your review in clinic – typically 2 to 3 months after treatment.