Prominent ears are the most common disorder of the pinnas (auricles, visible part of the ear) protruding from the head.
The ear is composed of a cartilage and is throughout covered by skin and a thin layer of subcutaneous fat. Normally, ears protrude from the head by 1.8-2 cm.
Otoplasty (ear surgery) is the medical term used for this restoration technique.
Otoplasty was born in 600 b.c., and it was first described by the Indian doctor Sushruta, frequently reported as the father of surgery.
Sushruta and his students restored ears fowling amputations as a result of criminal penalties.
Prominent ears cause intense psychological problems both to men and women, boys and girls.
Several patients, of both sexes, cover them with their hair, while others even avoid the beach or strong winds. It is considered a routine procedure and is performed by plastic surgeons under local anesthesia.
How it is performed
The procedure can be performed in every person aged 5 years and over, and there is no age limit.
As discussed earlier, it is performed under local anesthesia and in case the patient does not cooperate (usually children aged 5-12 years), light sedation may be administered.
All otoplasties are performed on an outpatient basis, i.e. operated patients do not require hospital stay.
- On the individual evaluation of the patient
- On the procedure which is modified according to what we want to correct on the auricle and which parts need intervention.
- The skin removal from the back of the ear is preoperatively planned and depends on the desired angle of the ear backwards. At the same time, a lobe correction may be planned, if needed.
- The surgery on the cartilage is performed with a special curette on the anterior surface of the cartilage, and special transparent sutures are placed when need (watch the video below)
- We always use a mirror to cooperate with the operated patient
- The skin is closed with internal suturing
- The ears are covered with a bandage for 2 days
- Bathing is allowed 2 days later
- The bandage is removed after the 2nd day
An analysis of our technique
The procedure starts with the removal of a thin skin stripe from the posterior surface of the ear. Then, the anterior surface is curetted to help it turn backwards.
On certain parts of the cartilage, special, transparent, non absorbable sutures are placed to help the cartilage fold. In this way, the ear comes closer to the head, and the anthelix is formed. The skin on the back is closed with sutures, and the final stage of the procedure is bandaging.
Watch our technique on video.
After the procedure
All operated patients wear special bandages to cover their ears for 24 hours. When the bandage is removed, bathing is allowed.
All operated patients are on preventive antibiotics and painkillers (Depon,
Lonarid, or Ponstan). The removal of the small stitches from the posterior
surface of the ear is performed in a week from the surgery.
Following the removal of the bandage, some patients may develop bruising on the ears, but it quickly goes away.
Resumption of daily activities takes place within 2 days after the surgery. Sports activities, like football or basketball) may be resumed 3 weeks after the surgery, to avoid ear injury. The incision on the back of the ear resolves relatively fast.
Pain is minimal and everyone reports a slight discomfort during the first 24 hours with the bandage, which goes away with the painkillers we administer (Lonarid/Depon/Ponstan). Our extensive experience in otoplasty since 1998, the special local anesthesia we use and the fast removal of the bandage leads to minimal pain and quick recovery for all of our operated patients, who resume their activities in no time.