Ear corrections: no more protruding ears
Who comes under consideration for an ear correction?
Anyone who is not satisfied with the position of his or her ears is a good candidate. Mostly it concerns protruding ears (also called “bat ears”), sometimes only the upper part of the ear sticks out. The operation is preferably carried out at the age of seven but can also be done later or even on adults.
The first consultation
An analysis of the ear and its deviation is made during the first consultation. Which specific ear surgery will be performed, is discussed with the patient (or parents).
This operation does not require any specific preparation. The patient may leave the clinic the same day. It is necessary to arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home safely because it is best not to drive yourself.
It is preferable to choose general anaesthesia for children under 12 years old. When over 12 years old, the operation can be performed under local anaesthesia. In both cases, the patient may leave the clinic the same day.
The surgeon makes an incision at the back of the auricle. The ear cartilage is subsequently corrected and re-positioned with some stitches in their new position. The operation takes about one hour. The incision behind the ear is closed with a soluble thread. This thread dissolves in 10-14 days. After surgery, a special bandage is applied around the head that has to be removed by the surgeon after 3-5 days.
After the operation
Except for the first few days, you will hardly suffer from the operation. A few days after surgery the bandage is removed. Your ears may be clearly swollen and numb the first two weeks after surgery. This is, however, perfectly normal and will disappear spontaneously. Once the bandage is removed, you must wear a headband during the day for one week in order to keep the ears in their position. The first three weeks you must also wear the headband at night. The ears may be sensitive for several weeks when touching them, for instance when putting on a sweater.
In some cases it happens that one ear folds back after a while and starts to stick out again. This occurs in approximately 1 out of 200 cases, therefore very rare. The cartilage is after all elastic and cannot always be forced into another position. A new ear correction is required to put the cartilage back into the correct position. This is often sufficient for a good and lasting result. However, do not expect symmetry for one hundred percent. Another complication is the emergence of a so-called keloid scar (scar tissue). This can be treated well with cortisol injections.