Ear Reshaping Surgery Corrects Protruding Ears | ExpatWoman.com

Ear Reshaping Surgery Corrects Protruding Ears

Few surgical procedures are as satisfying to patients as ear reshaping surgery, known as otoplasty.

Posted on

12 November 2014

Last updated on 30 January 2018
Ear Reshaping Surgery Corrects Protruding Ears
Around the age of five or six, children regularly become aware of their prominent ears and are frequently teased at school by their peers. Otoplasty is almost always successful in correcting this deformity and has a positive psychological impact not only on children but also on their parents!
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Over 1% of the UK population believes that their ears stick out too much. Having protruding ears will rarely affect a person’s hearing but will frequently cause embarrassment and psychological distress. Ears are one of the first parts of the body to develop to full adult size, so if they protrude they can be particularly noticeable in children and this regularly leads to teasing or bullying. Indeed the fear of their child being bullied will often result in the parents being even more concerned than the child.
Adults with protruding ears can also have practical problems. For example, they may find it difficult to wear certain forms of head attire such as a motorcycle helmet. Women with protruding ears may also feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about wearing their hair up.

Protruding ears can be a hereditary family trait, but this is not always the case. The normal outer ear will project from the side of the head at an angle of about 20 to 35 degrees. However in a small number of people this angle is more than 35 degrees, resulting in the appearance of overt protrusion. It can occur if there is too much cartilage, or if the ridge of cartilage at the top of the ear does not fold properly as it develops. It can also result from an injury. Whilst prominent ears usually occur on both sides, occasionally the problem may affect only one ear.

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There is a family of rare congenital ear deformities where the rim of the ear is flattened and the upper portions deformed. In such Stahl Ear Deformity, the skin and cartilage are folded to different degrees that can result in a pointed upper edge. Because of the resemblance to the ears of the character in the popular television series, this condition is sometimes also known colloquially as Spock Ear, Vulcan Ear or simply Pointed Ear. It can appear in many degrees from mild to severe, but is more frequently found in those of Oriental origin than in Caucasians.

There are various solutions available to correct ear deformity and the options are discussed here by Dr Allen Rezai, Senior Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon of Harley Street, London, and leader of Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group in Dubai Healthcare City. According to Dr Rezai, “If the problem is identified shortly after birth, then the condition can be treated conservatively, simply by applying an appropriate splint. However, only a few months later, the cartilage of the ear will have become considerably stiffer and the splint may need to be in place for many months, even then not always guaranteeing success. Typically, after the age of six months, the only viable option is surgical correction.”

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Dr Rezai goes on to explain that “By the age of about five or six years, the outer ear, known medically as the pinna, has attained around 85% of its adult height and most surgeons recommend waiting until this time to correct prominent ears. However many parents are keen to have the ear correction carried out as early as possible, fearing that their child will be stigmatized at school. Nevertheless it is generally more prudent to wait until the child actually mentions the problem, at which time the effects of ear reshaping surgery on a child's self-image are generally immediate and significant.”

According to Dr Rezai, the procedure for otoplasty surgery in adults is typically performed under either local anesthesia alone, or local anesthesia with sedation. In the case of children, a general anesthetic is usually administered. An incision will be made behind the ear, in the groove between the ear and the side of the head, leaving a scar that is very well-concealed and virtually impossible to find. If the ear lobe is also large, then it is possible to reduce its size during the same operation. The surgery itself takes about 45 minutes and many patients will return home the same day, others staying in hospital overnight. For those engaged in non-physical work, Dr Rezai usually finds that they can return to work within 1 week, and resume normal physical exercise within 2 to 4 weeks.

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As is the case with all surgery, Dr Rezai explains that following ear correction surgery, patients can expect to feel somewhat bruised and sore. However simple paracetamol is usually all that is required. Most patients will experience tender ears for several weeks following their surgery. A small dressing is usually worn for about 5 days, at which time sutures are removed as needed. Once the dressing has been removed, Dr Rezai advises patients to wear a protective head-band or bandage when sleeping so as to avoid the ears being bent forward against the pillow. This is usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks.

In many cases, according to Dr Rezai, it is adult patients who are seeking ear reshaping surgery for themselves. They have perhaps been considering it for many years and are now at long last ready to take the plunge, setting out to correct those annoying things about their features that have troubled them perhaps for much of their lives.

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For more information concerning ear reshaping surgery and other types of facial surgery or to book a Consultation with Dr Allen Rezai at Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group please visit our website or call +971 4 431 239.

Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group
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Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group
Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group is headed by Dr.Allen Rezai, a leading Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon of international renown, who has for many years led a distinguished career both from his well-known clinic in Harley Street, London, UK and worldwide.

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