Prominent ears, which affect 1-2% of the population, can be a cause for embarrassment and undermine self-confidence. Children in particular can be affected as they can suffer from teasing at school.
Earfold® is an innovative new treatment that can quickly and effectively correct prominent ears. It is a small implant that is designed to reposition prominent ears quickly. It works because the implant which is made of highly elastic nitinol, is curved, so after it is inserted into your ear under local anaesthetic, it springs into shape, helping to correct your ear prominence by creating or enhancing what’s known as the antihelical fold. Earfold® offers many benefits over the traditional surgical alternative which is known as otoplasty.
- Suitable for adults and children aged seven or above
- You can choose the position of your ears before treatment
- Fast treatment – the procedure typically takes about 20 minutes for both ears
- The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic
- Short recovery – no bandages so you can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable
- Earfold®is coated with 24-carat gold, to reduce visibility under your skin.
The Treatment Process
You and your consultant will discuss how you feel about the current position of your ears, and how you would like them to look with Earfold®. Then you and your consultant will change the position of your ears by using 1 or 2 temporary positioners per ear. Where they are on the outside of your ear is exactly where your consultant will insert them under the skin on the day of your procedure. So you are in control of the new position of your ears. The use of temporary positioners to decide the final look of the ear is unique to Earfold®, and cannot easily be achieved with standard otoplasty.
The Earfold® procedure typically takes about 20 minutes, and only uses local anaesthetic. On the day of your procedure the position of the implants that you agreed will be marked on your ear. A local anaesthetic will then be administered to numb your ears and then a small incision (8-10mm long) will be made. The Earfold® implants will be inserted into your ear with a small handheld device. Once inserted, the Earfold® implants immediately help to correct your ear prominence. The small incision will be closed with sutures and dressed with some sterile tape.
Earfold® has been designed to be as minimally invasive as possible, but it is a medical treatment, so there are a few things to bear in mind after the procedure:
- Because of the local anaesthetic your ears will feel a little numb for a while (like after you’ve been to the dentist for a filling).
- You may also feel some minor pain after the procedure, which should fade within a couple of days.
- There may be some swelling or bruising, but this will fade over the week following the treatment.
- Your ears may feel a little more sensitive for a while, so although it’s fine to wash your hair or shower, be gentle.
- You should try and sleep on your back for up to four weeks to avoid pressure on your ears.
- Try and avoid swimming or contact sports for four weeks or so to let the implants settle.
- Avoid wearing earrings for two weeks or so to reduce any risk of infection.
- Try not to smoke for 3 months, because nicotine reduces the blood supply to your ear, which greatly increases the risk of complications. This is also true of e-cigarettes and nicotine patches or chewing gum.