Being unhappy with the way your ears look can have a significant impact on your self-confidence. Some people decide to take control of the way they feel by having their ears pinned to reshape them.
earFold is a new treatment option for prominent ear correction. This is a minimally invasive treatment and can be carried out under local anaesthetic with immediate correction and rapid recovery.
For the first time in prominent ear correction, earFoldTM provides an opportunity for the person to select the precise amount of correction rather than leaving it to the discretion of the surgeon.
What is earFoldTM ?
It is an implant made from a short strip of nitinol metal alloy consisting of two metals, titanium and nickel. Both these metals are widely used in medicine. The implant is a curved, thin strip of metal (similar to the thickness of a human hair) and is plated with 24 carat gold which reduces the visibility of the implant under the skin.
How does it work?
The ears are numbed with a local anaesthetic injection and a small incision is made towards the edge of the ear. The earFoldTM implant has a pre-loaded, disposable introducer. The surgeon will slide this under the skin and once the implant is in the correct position, it is released. This only takes a few seconds. Once the implant has been released, it grips in to the cartilage of the ear and immediately folds it into a pre-determined shape. One or two stiches are used to close the skin incision.
How long does the procedure take?
The time will depend on the number of implants needed to correct the ear prominence. The whole procedure should take no longer than 15 minutes.
Further details on earFoldTM can be found at www.earfold.com.
You will be able to go home immediately after the procedure and no bandages or dressings are required. You will be given a three-day prescription for antibiotics as a precautionary measure and arrangements will also be made for a follow up review in clinic about three months after treatment.
The implants can be kept permanently in place but if you wish to have them removed then they can be removed after a specified period has elapsed. By this time they should have exerted a permanent moundling effect on the ear cartilage. The length of time required for this effect to occur depends on your age as ear cartilage tends to be stiffer in older patients. Removal of the implant will require local anaesthetic and the previous incision is opened, allowing the implants to be easily removed.
Are there any risks?
As with all surgical procedures there is the possibility of complications, such as infection or visibility of the implant. Each patient is different with different skin. If you have any issues, please feel free to discuss them with your consultant.
How quickly can I return to normal activities?
Most patients can return to work immediately but should expect some bruising and swelling after treatment. This will settle after a few days.
But everybody is different. If you have any questions or concerns, we're here to help.
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