Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Prominent Ear Correction

 

Introduction

Protruding ears are a common problem and can be the course of a lot of anxiety and stress especially in children that are often teased by their contemporaries. The surgery to pin the ears back can be performed from the age of 4 years at which stage the cartilage of the ear has developed enough for the surgery to be performed safely. It is however important that the patient should express a view regarding the proposed surgery and that it should not only be performed because of parental pressure. The surgical technique depends on the part of the ear involved in the condition.

The surgery

A single incision is made behind each ear in a hidden position and the technique appropriate for the specific ear employed to achieve an appropriate position in relation to the scalp. The surgery is normally performed under general anaesthesia although it is possible under local anaesthesia in adults. It is normally performed as a day case. Pain afterwards is moderate and can easily be controlled by oral medication.

Side-effects and complications

The scar is normally well hidden but can be pronounced in patients with a tendency to develop keloid scarring. A collection of fluid under the skin may require drainage at a later stage. Infections are rarely seen. The ear may regain its original position due to the elasticity of the cartilage in 10-15% of cases.

After the surgery

A bandage is applied around the ears to protect the position of the ears as well as the incision line. This is removed after 10 days when the sutures are also removed from the incision. At this stage the ears will still be swollen and tender to touch. It is recommended that a further head bandage is worn at night around the ears for 6 weeks to allow the ear to heal completely. Sport or physical activity should be avoided for the first 4 weeks after surgery and contact sport should be avoided for three months.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page