CORRECTION OF PROMINENT OR LOP EARS
One of the most common anomalies that can appear on head or neck are ears that stick out. Two of the most common reasons for the abnormality are: disproportionally shaped (deep) ear shell (concha) and undeveloped anthelix (semi-circular lobe parallel to ear’s edge). Correction of so call lop ears is called otoplasty or otopexy. The aim of the otoplasty is to lessen the angle between the ear and the head by 25 – 30 degrees. There are several procedures (surgical) to solve this problem. We can roughly divide them into the methods that remodel the cartilage (cutting, carving, abrasion etc.) and others that try to avoid that.
We treat otoplasty under local anaesthesia, and patient is sedated. Usually we decide on a combination of methods and try to avoid cutting off the cartilage. We aim to choose the most simple and effective method.
WHI IS THE OTOPLASTY FOR?
The ear is developed by the age of five or six so the patient can undergo the otoplasty procedure. Between the age 5 and 10 the patient is operated under general anaesthesia, later just local is used. It is assumed that if parents want ear correction the child would want it too. It can prevent potential emotional damage caused by peer bullying. Other surgeons think that the procedure can wait until the child is old enough to make his own decisions regarding the anomaly and became motivated to undergo the procedure.
After the procedure the head and the ears are bandaged for one day. The patient is advised to wear tennis head band for the next 3 weeks during the night. Some swelling and mild pain can be expected for several days. Infections or scarring is very rare.
Whether the patient is eligible for the procedure or if there are any risks could be assessed only after a check-up. Every surgical procedure involves a level of risk. Lesser complications which are of no consequence on the result, are rare. Serious complications are totally unusual.