Protruding or prominent ears are a congenital aesthetic defect in the shape of the cartilage skeleton of the auricle, also called the pinna. The auricle stands at an almost straight angle from the patient’s head. This can occur on one side or both sides. In some cases, it only involves the upper side of the ear. Protruding ears have no functional disadvantage. This aesthetic defect is reasonably easy to correct by a surgical procedure.
We do not operate on children below the age of 16, but they can go to a general hospital for such a surgery.
You will discuss the ear correction with the surgeon during the first consultation. Our surgeons specialise in performing ear corrective procedures and we will guide you through the preparation, the treatment itself, and the aftercare.
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|Ear correction||Price local sedation||Price with general anaesthesia|
|Protruding ears||from €1.850|
The first consultation
During this consultation, the attending plastic surgeon will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for an ear correction and he or she will discuss your wishes. It is important to assess whether your wishes are feasible. The plastic surgeon will inform you of the risks and possible complications of an ear correction.
Before performing the procedure, the attending plastic surgeon must be informed about prior surgeries and possible allergies. If you take medication, the plastic surgeon will tell you which medication should not be taken prior to the surgery. This specifically applies to medication that prevents blood clotting, such as Aspirin, Sintrom, and Marcoumar. You can take Paracetamol before and after the surgery.
The surgeon will mark the area that will be treated. The surgery will be performed under local anaesthesia by injecting a sedation fluid. This can feel slightly unpleasant. If you prefer, the procedure can also be done under general anaesthesia but this will involve additional costs.
The technique used during the procedure consists of reducing the size of the auricle and/or a correction of its position, which will be done via the back of the auricle. An arched incision is made behind the auricle and a small strip of skin is removed from the ear skeleton. The plastic surgeon will then make small incisions in the cartilage so he can roll up the auricle and form a new crease. A correction to the auricle does not involve removal of cartilage; the auricle is only attached to get the proper shape. In some case, a small part of the cartilage must be removed to make the auricle a little less deep. The wound is then sutured and bandaged. The incision is closed with dissolvable stitches which do not have to be removed. The procedure takes about one hour and you can go home the same day.
After the surgery
A compression bandage will be applied around your head as soon as the procedure has been completed. You will need to wear this day and night for one week. This bandage will keep your ears in the right shape and position. When the bandage shifts or gets loose, a new bandage must be applied. After the first week, you will have to wear a special head bandage over your ears during the night. You can carefully clean any blood crusts with water.
You can shower after the surgery, but you have to make sure to avoid the treated area from being touched or getting wet. You cannot wash your hair during the first week. This can be done again from the second week. Be careful when you use a hair dryer: keep it at a safe distance and use the coolest temperature setting. It is best to sleep with your head slightly raised using an extra pillow or by raising the top end of the bed. We also advise you to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your ears. It is important to take sufficient rest during the first few days after the surgery and to avoid bending forwards and heavy physical exercise as this can cause unwanted bleeding. You can go back to work after one week, provided you do not have to perform physically heavy work activities. We will check the recovery process after two weeks, and you can resume sports activities after 4 weeks.
After the surgery, the treated area may be swollen and bruised at first. The bruises will disappear quickly, but swelling will take a few weeks to go down. The auricles are often a bit red, swollen, and sensitive for a number of weeks. As the swelling goes down, the ears will get their proper shape. The ultimate result of the ear correction can be assessed after about six weeks. Naturally, we will aim for complete symmetry, but we cannot give a 100% guarantee that this will be achieved.
The scars that are a result of the surgery can look a bit inflamed or red. In the course of a year, the redness will fade and the scars will take the colour of the skin and become less noticeable. Ultraviolet radiation is not good for scars as it may cause them to stay red for an unnecessarily long time. We advise you to apply sunblock on the scar area during the first months after the surgery.
After three months you will come back for a final check, during which new photos are taken for your medical file. The before and after photographs will make it easy to see and compare the result of the surgery.
Risks and complications
As with any surgical procedure, there is a chance of an infection that shows itself through pain, swelling, redness, or pus coming from the wound. There can be some bleeding or an allergic reaction to the sedation. There may also be some bruising, which usually includes swelling. The result may not be 100% symmetrical and you can experience an increased sensitivity to the ears in cold weather for a longer period of time. The healing of scars is different for every person. In rare cases, hypertrophic (thickened) scars may be formed. Please contact the clinic If you experience sudden problems, such as an infection, increased pain, bleeding, or a wound that is not healing as it should.