Prominent Ears

Prominent ears, although very common, can be a cause of teasing at school for younger children and a loss of confidence both for younger and older patients. The commonest reason for the ears to be prominent is a failure of the cartilage of the ear to fold normally during foetal development. Surgery is therefore usually directed at creating the normal folds of the ear to create normal degrees of projection. It is not desirable to over-correct prominent ears, and in my opinion the best results are those which simply look natural.

For patients over the age of 12-13 years, surgery can be performed very well under local anaesthesia on a day case basis. Treatment involves making cuts on the back of the ear, and then re-shaping the cartilage. At the end of surgery, dissolving stitches are placed into the wounds, and the ears are routinely protected by bandaging, which stays on for about a week.

Complications of prominent ear correction include bleeding and infection. A small percentage of patients may be troubled by over-healing of the scar on the back of the ear (keloid occurs in 2%), but most patients will heal without complication. It is never possible to guarantee perfect symmetry in corrected ears, but most patients will end up with differences with which they are entirely happy, and with much improved confidence. Secondary surgery may be helpful in some patients, but is usually unnecessary. | Tel: 01342 330303